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Akerlund . 

AlFORD ... 

Aronstein . 
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Dei im ii: 
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K AKI I . 


ElNl NK1 I 

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Leipzig, 1909. 

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dare, Englische Studien, XXI. 

. Zur' hichte des englisch en G erundi ums, 

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diums, Anglia XXXVIII, I. 

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torische Syntax, Triibner, Strassburg, 1916. 

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berg, 1909. 

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dam, 1S92. 

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Edinburgh, 1906. 

Morn / inten ded to have written, Herrig Archiv.CXIV, 370. 

[espersen \ Modern English Grammar, II, Carl Winter, 

Heidelberg, 1909. 

Growth and Structure of the English Lan* 

guage, Teubner, Leipzig, 1912. 

Tid og Temp us, Oversigt over det Danske Viden* 

skabernes Selskabs Eorhandlinger, 1914, No. 5— 6. 

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bindelser, Det Kgl. Danske Videnskabernes 

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Negation, id., I, 5, id., id., 1917. 

Dare, use and need als p rater i turn, Englische 

Studien, XXIII. 

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Macmillan and Co., London, 1902. 

Kruger Syntax der englischen Sprache, C. A. Kochs 

Verlagsbuchhandlung, Dresden und Leipzig, 1914. 
Vermischte Beitrage zur Syntax, id. id., 1919. 
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(Cruising \ 

M \1 ,'NI K 
Ml RR\Y . . 

Onions . . 
Pai i 




Schmidt . 
Stoett . . 



. . . 
WlLLERT . . 


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schein, London, 1905. 

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Noch einmal (to) dare, Englische Studien, XXVI. 
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1 894. 

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/ intended to have written, Taalstudie, IX 

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. Berling, I fppsala, 1916. 

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Grammatical Nature of the Infinitive § 1 

The Use of to before the Infinitive §§ 2—53 

Introductory Observations §^ 2—5 

Practice after Verbs and Group=verbs forming a kind of 

unit with the following Infinitive §§ 6—33 

Practice after Verbs governing an Accusative Infinitive 

or allied construction §§34—41 

Practice after the Conjunctions but, as and than §§ 42—46 

Practice in Elliptical Sentences §§ 47—50 

Repetition and Non=repetition of to §§ 51—53 

Tense and Voice of the Infinitive §§ 54 s ~ 

Introductory Observations §§ 54—56 

Tense=shifting in Infinitive Constructions §§ ^7 65 

The Passive Infinitive in detail ^ 66—87 


1. Like the gerund, the infinitive is a substantival form of the verb, 
that is to say it has partly the character of a verb, partly that 
of a noun. 

a) It shows its verbal character by its capacity of: 

1) taking the ordinary verb* modifiers, objects and adverbial 
adjuncts, e. g. : He promised to write the letter; He pre= 
tended to listen to me; He intended to rise early. Further 
discussion or illustration is not necessary. 

2) showing, at least in part, the distinctions of tense and voice. 

It will be no crime to have been Cato's friend. Addison, Cato, IV 1 
I am worthy to be scorned. Thack., Pend., I, Ch. XXY1I, 291. 

For detailed discussion see below, 54 £f. 

b) It shows its substantival character by its capacity of filling the 
same functions in a sentence as an ordinary noun. As such 
it largely varies with the gerund, one or the other being 
preferred or required in some cases, or either being applied 
without any appreciable distinction. In Ch. XVIII of my 
Grammar of Late Modern English the multifarious applications 
of the infinitive as an element of the sentence have been amply 
discussed. The area of incidence of the two rival substantival 
verbals have been submitted to close investigation in Ch. XIX. 
I'nder these circumstances there seems, therefore, to be no 
need to revert to these subjects in this place. 

In this connexion it should, however, he observed that the 
infinitive differs materially from the gerund in that, unlike 
the latter, it does not admit of being modified by adnominal 
modifiers. This distinctive feature of the gerund has been 
done full justice to in the following treatise. It is also worth 
mentioning that the above limitation does not attach to the 
infinitive in either Dutch or German. 

c) As will be shown in the following treatise (46 ft), the gerund 
is in many applications in no way distinguished from the 
noun of action. From what has been observed above, under 

b), it follows, therefore, that the infinitive also bears a strong 
affinity to the noun of action, substitution of the one for the 
other being, indeed, in many cases only prevented by require* 
ments of idiom. Nay it would not be difficult to collect a 
goodly number of sentences in which either of the alternative 
forms would be admissible without much detriment to idiomatic 
propriety. We must confine ourselves to a few examples. 

He is desirous of being admired. Mason, Eng. Gram. 34 , § 397. (— of ad= 
miration, or to be admired.) 

To doubt his originality, in the creation of poetic phrases would be to show 
the extieme of poetical incapacity. A C. Bradley. Com. on Ten.'s In Me; 
moriam, Ch VII, 75 (—doubting his originality, or doubt of his originality.) 
Life alone at twen'y;six is — lonely. Hope, Intrusions of Peggy, 44). 
■(— living alone, or to live alone.) 

Similarly nouns denoting a state or quality are essentially 
equivalent to wordsgroups consisting of the verb to be -f- 
corresponding adjective. Thus substitution of the latter for 
the former would be possible in: 

Caution is not always good policy. W. Phillips, Speeches, VI, 139' 2 ). 
Boldness in business is the first, second and third thing. Prov. 
Content is more than a kingdom, id. 

Note. Although it has been shown to be highly probable that the 
infinitive has descended from a verbal noun of which two casezforms 
have been preserved in Old English (3, Obs. I), its substantival character 
is now at all prominent only when it stands without any modifier as 
in To err is human, to forgive divine. 

In all other cases the verbal character prevails over the substantival 
to the extent that little or no trace of the latter is discernible, at least, 
in the English infinitive. 


Introducto.y Observations. 

2. The infinitive is now mostly preceded by the preposition to. 
An infinitive with to is called by Sweet (N. E. Gr., § 321) 
supine, by Mason (Eng. Gram. 11 , § 196) gerundial in* 
finitive. By some German grammarians it is called gerund. 
For reasons which hardly require comment, none of these terms 
can be pronounced to be particularly apposite, and since there 

') Jespersfn, Mod. Eng. Gram., 12.09. 
*) Murray. 

is no need for any special name for the infinitive with to, not 
any of them will be used in the following discussions. 

3. Obs I. In Old English to was only used before a dative form of the in ; 
tinitive ending in enne or anne (onne). I r dc Oted chiefly a relation 

of purpose, as it still does in such sentences as / came to tell you. 
This house is to let. This meaning of to is distinctly discernible in: 

N'dlice lit eode s s.iwere his said to saii-enne. Matth , XIII, 3. (Author. 

Vers : Behold a sower went forth to sow. I .vrest pone coccel, and sv.earrn.vlum to forbxrnenne ) ib., 

XIII, 30 (Author \'ers. Gather ye together fi st the tares, and bind them 

in bundles to bum them ) 

tala h u freond, ne do ic i\- nainne teonan : hu, ne come \>ix to me to 

wyrceanne wid anum pemnge ) id., XX, 3, (Author. Vers Friend, I do 

thee no wrong: didst thou not agree with me for a penny) 

The dative form was mostly rigidly distinguished from the common* 
case form, which ended in an. 

Nim pa;t bin ys, and ga ic wylle pysum ytemestum syllan eall swa mycel 
swa h e Matth., XX 14") (Author. Vers : Take that thine is, and go 
thy way: I will give unto this last even as unto thee.) 
da cwxd so Hailend to hyre, Syle m'~- drincan. John, IV. 7*) (Author. 
Vers.: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.) 

The unintlected infinitive without to seems to have been used occa* 
sionally where the dative infinitive with to would be expected. 
Thus in : 

Heofona rice ys gelic \)am hiredes ealdre. pe on irn emergen, tit eode 
•ihyrian wyrhtan on his wingeard. Matthew, XX, I') (Author. Vers 
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householde> , which 
went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard ) 

Compare also Curme, E. S., XLV, III, 375. 

In the Middle English period the suffixes gradually wore off with 

the result that the dative infinitive and the common-case infinitive 

became identical. Thus to writenne (or tvritanne) > to writene ■ to 

uriten > to write; and iVrifan ■ u-riten > write. 

There appear to be no instances in any period of the English lan« 

guage of the infinitive being placid in the genitive, corresponding 

to the practice represented in Dutch by such formations as prijzens = 

waardig, levensmoe or the German liebens w urd i g. 

II. "In process of time (the) obvious sense of the preposition became 
weakened and generalized, so that to became at last the ordinary 
link expressing anv prepositional relation in which an infinitive 
stands to a preceding verb, adjective, or substantive. Sometimes the 

') Sw eft. Anglo = Saxon Reader'. 51 f. 

") Sweet. Anglo = Saxon Read.*, 51 f. 

s ) The Belles Lettres Series. 

*) Sweet, Anglo = Saxon Reader', 51 f. 

relation was so vague as scarcely to differ from that between a 
transitive verb and its object. This was especially so when the verb 
was construed both transitively and intransitively. There were several 
verbs in Old English in this position, such as onginnan (to begin), 
ondrxdan (to dread), bebe'odan (to bid), bewerian (to forbid, prevent), 
leliefan (to believe), \>encan (to think, etc.); these are found com 
strued either with the simple (accusative) infinitive, or with to and 
the dative infinitive. From these beginnings, the use of the infini= 
tive with to in place of the simple infinitive, helped by the pho; 
netic decay and loss of the inflexions, and the need of some mark 
to distinguish it from other parts of the verb and from the cognate 
substantive, increased rapidly during the late Old English and early 
Middle English period, with the result that in Modern English the 
infinitive with to is the ordinary form, the simple infinitive survive 
ing only in particular connexions where it is intimately connected 
with the preceding verb. To a certain extent, therefore, i e. when 
the infinitive is the subject or direct object, to has lost all its 
meaning, and has become a mere 'sign' or prefix of the infinitive. 
But after an intransitive verb, or the passive voice, to is still the 
preposition. In appearance there is no difference between the in* 
Hnitive in he proceeds to speak and he chooses to speak; but in the 
latter to speak is the equivalent of speaking or speech, and in the 
former of to speaking or to speech. In form to speak is the des? 
cendant of Old English to specanne; in sense, it is partly the re= 
presentative of this and largely of Old English specan." Murray, 
s. v. to, B, History. 

According to Onions (Adv. Eng. Synt., § 157, 4, Obs.) to is not 
found with the Nom.sAcc. form (i. e. the common^case form) of the 
Infinitive before the twelfth century. 

III. When it had become usual to put to before the infinitive irrespective 
of its grammatical function, the want may have been felt for another 
expedient to express the notion of purpose. This may have given 
rise to the use of for to before the infinitive. Murray's earliest 
instance of this practice is dated 1175. It appears to have been 
quite common in Middle English, in which it seems to have served 
the same purpose as the Dutch om te and the German urn zu. 
But it soon came to be used before an infinitive also when no 
notion of purpose was implied, in like manner as in colloquial 
Dutch om te is often used in the same connexion, where there is 
no occasion for it. 

The use of jot to before the infinitive, either with or without a 
notion of purpose, was still vigorously alive in Early Modern English, 
but has been constantly losing ground since. In Present English 
it survives only in dialects and in the language of the uneducated. 
For discussion see also Ch. XVIII, 24, Obs. IV; and compare Stok., 

Stud., A, VII, 4S ft'; Cirme, Hist, of the hng. Ger., E. S.. XLY, 
376; Stoett, Middelned. Spraakk., $5 283. 

i. And specially, from every shires ende ' Of Engelond, to Caunterbury thev 
wende, The holy blisful martir /or fo teke. Chaui . <. ant 1 ales, A, 15— 17. 
Yertue gives her selfe light, through darkenesse foe to wade. SrENSOt, 
Faery Queene, I, I, XII 

We will solicit heaven and move the gods | To send down Justice /or to 
wreak our wrongs. Sbak., Tit. Andr., IV, 3, 51. 

For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to 
touch him, as many as had plagues. Bible, Mark, III, 10. 
And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him his disciples, and 
embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia, ib., Acts, XX, 1. 
You've not come here for to make me suppose he wants to marrv her. 
TRACK., Yan. Fair, I, Ch. XXIV, 244. 

Miss Arabella wondered why he always said he was going for to do a 
thing. G. Eliot, Scenes, I, Ch. II, 14. 

You needn't come for to give such advice to any girl of mine. I'iok. 
Marryat, A Bankrupt Heart, II, 45. T. 

You see I cannot get started on a speech without saying things like, 'In 
rising for to make a few remarks'. I. M. Barrif, What Every Woman 
knows, I, (13). 

My cousin Thorolf wouldn't go /or to kill a man. Masefield, The Locked 
Chest, (56). 

ii. And if you lyketh alle; by oon assent, Now for to stonden at my jugement 
Chauc, Cant. Tales, A, 779. 

Hir othes been so greete and so dampnable, That it is grisly for to here 
hem swere. ib., C, 473. 

We'll teach you for to drink ere you depart. Shak., II ami., I, 2, 175. 
(The Folios have : to drink deep.) 

It is not lawful for to put them (sc the silver pieces) into the treasurv 
Bible. Matth. XXVII, 6. 

Bv the laws, mamma, von make me tor to laugh. Golijsmith, The Stoops, 
III, (201) 

We don't choose for to part with her. Fanny Buknfy, Evelina, Ch. XV, 48. 
Sir. you don't dare for to breathe a word against my Lady Maria. Tiiack., 
Virg., Ch. XXX IN'. 407. 

I did'nt think for to get married so soon. Mrs. Cask . Cranf., Ch. XI Y, 2b2. 
I could put them into the Ecclesiastical Court, if I chose for to do so. 
G. Euor, Scenes, !. Ch. Ill, 29. 

I'm afraid you didn t intend for to go and see your mother, Peter. Jacobs, 
Odd Craft. A. 1 _ . 

In the following quotation the use of for to -f- infinitive after /or -j- 
pronoun strikes us as particularly clumsy: 

There's no need for v ou for to put in your oar. Fanny Bl*rmy, Evelina, 
XIY, 4\ 

It will be observed that the infinitive in other Germanic languages, 
Dutch, German, Danish, differs from that in English in that in these 
languages it admits of being preceded by other prepositions besides 
the ordinary te, zu and til 


IV. In Middle English the use of to before the infinitive was still more 
or less variable and in some respects different from modern practice. 
The discussion of these fluctuations falls beyond the scope of the 
present treatise and will not, therefore, be attempted. The student 
interested in the subject may be referred to Einenkel, Streifziige, 
229 ff; id., Hist. Syntax, § 4. 

Some survivals of antiquated constructions in which to is dispensed 
with contrary to ordinary Modern English practice will be mens 
tioned in due course. 

V. In some few cases, especially those in which the use of to before 
the infinitive has remained unsettled in Modern English, its 
employment or omission is, to some extent, conditioned by cons 
siderations of metre or rhythm. See Fijn van Draat, Rhythm in 
Eng. Prose, Angl. Forsch., § 44 ff. For illustration see 13, Note; 
20; 33, c, Note; 35, Obs. I; 39, c; 41, a; 42, a; 45, a; 51, c. 

In verse me meet with repeated instances of to being dispensed 
with for the sake of the metre, where this would be inadmissible 
in ordinary prose. Practically all the instances of irregular practice 
cited by Franz (Shak. Gram.' 2 , § 650) will bear this explanation. 

How long within this wood intend you stay? Shak., Mids., II, 1, 158. 

He left his bed, he trod the floor, ] And 'gan in haste the drawers 

explore, | The lowest first, and without stop | The rest in order to the top. 

Co\vpi:r, The Retired Cat, 88. 

Yet not Lord Cranstoun deign'd she greet, | Though low he kneeled at 

her feet. Scorr, Lay, V, 398. 

His pensive cheek and pondering brow j Did more than he was wont 

avow. Byron, Bride of Abydos, II. 

Instances of the opposite practice appear to be less frequent. See 
also 5, Obs, II. 

It is better holde thy tonge stille than to speke. Chaucer 1 ). 
By heaven I had rather coin my heart, | And drop my blood for drachmas, 
than to wring \ From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash | By any 
indirection. Shak., Jul. Css., IV, 3, 73. 

VI. Sometimes to appears to be omitted simply to impart terseness to 
the style. 

Kill or be killed, cat or be eaten, was the law. Jack London, The Call 
of the Wild, Ch. VI, 129. 

If the omission of to before the infinitive in the following 
quotation is not due to carelessness on the part of the writer or 
the compositor, there seems to be no alternative but to ascribe it 
to the same desire of terseness. 

Do you mean go alone — in the dark — with a witch in the house ? 
Shaw, The Man of Destiny, (243). I. 

') Einenkel, Hist. Synt., § 4, K. 

VII. There is not, apparently, much use in discussing the question 
whether, in case the infinitive is connected with a full verb, i.e. one 
which does not form a kind of unit with it (Ch. 1, 15), as in He 
came to see me; I intend to come again, etc., the preposition is felt 
to belong to the former or the latter. 

[ ESPERSEN (Growth and Structure', ^211) finds in constructions 
with what he calls p ro = i n f in i t i ve to, such as Will you play? — 
Yes, I intend to (Ch. XXXII, 31), "one amongst several indications 
that the linguistic instinct now takes to to belong to the preceding 
verb rather than to the infinitive, a fact which, together with other 
circumstances, serves to explain the phenomenon usually mistermed 
the split infinitive." But there can be no doubt that other 
grammarians lean to the alternative view, and consider to to be 
more closely connected with the infinitive than with the preceding 
verb. This view is, of course, inapplicable to the case of the 
infinitive standing after a verb governing a prepositional object 
with to, as in to listen to, to talk to, etc. The fact that such a 
verb may form a kind of compound gerund with the preposition 
is sufficient proof that to does not belong to the infinitive so much 
as to the preceding verb. See Gerund, 41. 

You will never read anything that's worth listening to. Siiik., Critic. 
I, 1, (443). 

The Prime .Minister went for him in a letter, and gave him a good talking 
to. Eng. Rev.. No. 106, 264. 

Nor does it seem very important to consider the grammatical 
function of to before the infinitive in sentences in which it is the 
subject, the nominal part of the predicate, or the non^prepositional 
object of the sentence, e. g. in To err is human, to forgive divine; 
To advertise in a small way is to throw away your money; She 
entreated us to remain. Kruisinga (Handbook 5 , ^ 212, footnote) 
finds it "useful to consider to before an infinitive (in connections 
like the above) as an inseparable part of the infinitive," but he 
fails to tell us where the usefulness comes in. 

The prepositional force of to is, of course, unmistakable when 
the infinitive is connected with a word (verb, adjective or noun) 
ordinarily construed with for or to, as in: / longed to esc pe to 
glorious Italy; This apple is not Jit to eat; I don't feel any vocation 
to be a governess ; Nothing will induce him to believe this; I am not 
inclined to go that length; There may be a disposition to exaggerate 
the peril. 

Thus also when the infinitive stands in an adverbial or adnominal 
clause implying a relation of purpose, as in: He toils to earn a 
living; She gave him the letter to post. 

But in many adverbial and adnominal clauses the meaning of to 
is vague and weak, often to the extent of being hardly discernible. 
Thus in Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by 


the spirit; I rejoice to see you; You're in luck to come to = day; To 
hear him, you would think he had passed half his life in Australia; 
She was old enough to be his mother; He was slow to sympathise 
with the sufferings of others; Scrooge was not a man to be frightened 
by echoes; These people have a narrow margin on which to subsist; 
Our militia was not a body to be proud of. 

Practice after Verbs and Groupsverbs forming a kind of unit with the 

following Infinitive. 

4. In Modern English the infinitive stands without to after certain 
verbs which form a kind of complex predicate with it, i. e. : 

a) after any auxiliary of mood or tense, e. g. : 

May you be happy in the life you have chosen! He will soon withdraw from 
the concern. 

a) after any of the defective verbs can, may, must, shall and will. 
He can (may, must, shall, will) come to you this evening. 

c) after to do. 

I do not understand this. 

5. Obs. I. Will as a regular verb requires to before the following infinitive. 

See also Ch. I, 48, Obs. II. 

When the soul wills to remember anything, this volition, causing the 
pineal gland to incline itself in different directions, drives the (animal) 
spirits towards different regions of the brain. Huxley, Method and 
Result, Ch. V, 214. 

I willed to stay on yet awhile on my native continent. Thack., Virg., 
Ch. XC, 969. 

II. Ought now almost regularly stands with an infinitive with to. 
Murray (s. v. ought, III, 5, b) quotes several instances with the 
bare infinitive from writers belonging to the Middle English period, 
and a few drawn from Modern English. In the following quotations 
the absence of to is, apparently, required by the metre: 

You ought not walk | Upon a labouring day, without the sign | Of your 
profession. Shak., Jul. Caes., I, 1, 3. 

How ought I address thee, how ought I revere thee? Browning, A gas 
memnon, 796. 

III. Also when the infinitive is, for emphasis, placed in front=position, 
which is only possible when it is connected with any of the above 
verbs, it now regularly stands without to. 

Beg he must. Lytton, My Novel, VII, Ch. XV, 467. 

In Middle English it was frequently preceded by to. See Einenkel, 
Synt., § 4, k. 


Occasional instances of this practice may be met with in Early 
Modern English. 

Zb belie him, I will not, and more ot his soldiership 1 know not. Shak., 
Alls Well, IV, 3, 299. 

6. As to the use of to before the infinitive after to need in the 
sense of to be required, to be under <i necessity or obligation, 
usage is variable. 

Before starting on an exposition of the prevailing practice, it 
seems desirable to advert to the use of to do in connexion with 
this verb, and to some anomalies in its conjugation. 
The unsettled nature of some syntactical features in this verb is, 
no doubt, due to its occupying an intermediate position between 
a full verb and one which, like must, etc., is felt to form a kind 
of unit with the following infinitive. 

7. To need dispenses with the use of to do, apparently regularly, 
in questions with inverted word^order. See also 9, a; and 12, a. 

i. S'eed I tell my reader that so innocent a girl as Susan was too highminded to 
watch the effect of her proceeding behind the curtains? Reade, It is never 
too late to mend. I. Ch. VI, 72. T. 

Need I say more? Wiik. Collins, The Traveller's Story. 
\'eed he ever know? Galsuorthi , Saint's Prog., II, V, 1 $, 138. 

ii. Why need we always play for such high stakes? Flor. M\rryat, A Bankrupt 
Heart. II, 45. T. 
Why need she herself be so scrupulous? Galsworthy, Beyond, III, Ch.XII, 333. 

b) in negative sentences with not, 1) mostly in the present tense, 
the suffix s (or eth) of the third person singular being usually 
suppressed. See also 9, b; and 12, a. 

You needn't mind sending up to me if the child cries. Dick., 1. Twist, 

Ch. I. 21. 

You must rise with the sun and ride with the same | Until, the next morning 

he riseth again; ] And then your grace need not make any doubt, | But in 

twentv=four hours you 11 ride it about. King John and the Abbot of 


77iaf need not be! Mrs. Wood, The Channings. Ch. Ill, 14. 

Constructions with to do are, however, by no means rare. Sec also 
F.llinger, Vermischte Beit rage, 66, where many instances are given. 

Rich baronets do not need to be careful about grammar, Tiiack., Wan. lair. 

I. Ch. VIII, 78. 

I do not need to leave the rotunda. Franki. Moorf, The Jessamv Bride, 

Ch. VII. 60. T. 

You don't need to tell me. Williamson', Lord Loveland, Ch. XXVIII, 252. 

You do not need to be rich to invest in State securities. Eng. Rev., 

No. 109, Adv. 


Substitution of the periphrastic for the simple construction in the 
phrase It needs not -\- passive infinitive appears to be very rare. Thus 
it would hardly be admissible in: 

It needs not to be said that much which is true of our country at that time 
is also true of others. Mary Bateson, Mediaeval England, Pref. 

With the above quotation, in which it represents the subordinate clause, 
compare the two following in which it stands for the infinitive with 
its objective enlargement. Usage may be equally divided between the 
periphrastic and the simple construction. 

i. It needs not to tell what she said and promised on behalf of Nelly. Besant, 
All Sorts and Cond. of Men, Ch. XI.VIII. 
ii. It does not need to take everything Lord Charles Beresford says without a 
grain of salt. Eng. Rev., 1912, Sept. 284: 

2) almost regularly in the preterite indicative, in subordinate 

clauses, especially statements, the tense^suffix being suppressed. 

See also 11, a; and 12, b. 

He told me that I need not make myself at all uneasy about his daughter's 
unhappiness Dick., Cop., Ch. XXXVIII, 276 a. 

Mr. Freely meant her to have a house so pretty and comfortable that she need 
not envy even a wooLfactor's wife. G. Eliot, Brother Jacob, 394. 

It is but rarely that needed not (or did not need) is employed instead 
of need not. 

She saw that she needed not to fear me. Blackmore, Lorna Doone, 
Ch. XVI. 96. 

Except for subordinate clauses the construction with to do is the usual one 
in the preterite indicative, needed not appearing only as a literary variant. 

i. They did not need to speak much to each other. G. Eliot, Felix Holt, I, 

Ch. VI. 130. 

He did not need to be a hatter to see that is was a very good Panama. Paul 

Cheswick, In the Land of Dreams, Ch. II. 

She did not need to see his face. Gissing, A Life's Morn., Ch. XIX, 265. 

You do not need to have a straight eye for that. Beatr. Har., Ships, I, 

Ch. XV, 84. 
ii. John needed not to reply. Mrs. Craik, John Hal, Ch. XXXVI, 395. 

3) apparently regularly in the preterite conditional followed by 
a perfect infinitive, the tense*suffix being ordinarily suppressed, 
and the whole word^group expressing the fact that an action 
for which there was no necessity has yet come into fulfilment. 
See also 11, b; 12, c; and 58, b. 

i. He need not have done it after all. Meredith, Ord. of Rich. Fev., Ch. XI, 7.1. 

You need not have told me that. Fi.or. Marryat, A. Bankrupt Heart, I, 20. T. 
ii. He needed not to have undertaken an arduous march of 260 miles. Southey, 

Penins. War, II, 630. 1 ) 

') Murray. 


8. The anomalies in the conjugation of to need are twofold, viz: 

a) the dropping of the ending s (or eth) in the third person 
singular of the present indicative, 

b) the suppression of the tenser suffix ed in the preterite indi* 

cative and conditional. 

9. a) The omission of the personal ending in the third person sin 

gular of the present indicative appears to be almost regular 

in questions. See also 7, a; and 15, c. 

What need s/k be acquainted? Shak., Com. of Kr, III, 2, IS. 

What preacher need moralize on thi^ story? Track., I he Four dcorges, 

III, 86. T. 

b) The dropping of the personal suffix is distinctly the rule, 

1) in sentences or clauses containing a negative word; i. e. 

not, never or no, or a word implying a negative, i. e. but (or 

only) or hardly (or scarcely). See also 7, h; and 15, c. 

Till the housemaid she need not Hifht the dining-room tire to day. Ahoru, 
The Queen's English, 5j 4b. 

How .Miss Sharp lay awake thinking, will he come or not to morrow:' need 
not be told here. Thack., Van. Fair, I, Ch. IV, 37. 
Valour need never pray to Fortune Lytton, RienzL 1 ) 
1 He who is down need fear no fall. Walt. Besant, The Hell of St. Paul's, I, 
t.h. I, 10 T. 

The gunner need be under no tear that in sparing one of these swans he is 
possibly missing an opportunity. Westm. Gaz. No. M77, 4c. 
After all, no one need know. Hugh Walpole, Jeremy, Ch. X, 2, 248. 
ii.° Aunt Olive lias kindly written to tell you exactly why I am here, so that my 
letter need only be a supplement to hers. Sarah Grand, The Heavenly 
Twins. I. 10>. 

John is so vain that he thinks he only need propose to the highest princess 
to be instantly accepted. Tit*Bits. 

It is a matter of comparatively common knowledge that metals arc subject to 
diseases. Lead, it need scarcely be said, is not immune. II. I.ond. News, 
No. 3857, 330. 

2) in subordinate clauses when the head * sentence contains a 
negative or negative* implying word, and also when the 
complex, though containing no negative, has a negative 

i. "This house ain't so exactly ringing with merrv -making ', said Miss Nipper, 
"that one need be lonelier than one must be. Your Toxcs and youi 
C hickses may draw out my two front double teeth, Mrs. Richards, but 
that's no reason why / need offer 'em the whole set". Dick., Domb., 
Ch. Ill, 22. 

') MXtzn., Engl. Gram., Ill 5. 


There is nothing in this decision which need cause us the slightest uneasiness. 

Westm. Ga:. No. 5030, lb. 
ii. That is all that need be said. El. Glyn, The Reason Why, Ch. VII, 70. 

(all has the value of the only thing.) 

All that our lady need do is to make a neat list of her needs. Westm. 

Ga:., No. 7477.' lib. 
iii. This completes what need be said about principal sentences. Fowler, The 

King's Eng., 140. (Underlying notion: No more need be said...) 

A pleasant room it was as any party need desire to muster in on a cold 

November evening. G. Eliot, Scenes, II, Ch. IV, 101. (Underlying 

notion: No party need desire a pleasanter room...) 

Poor young man, he seems to come oftener than he need. Bar. von Hutten, 

Pam., Ch II, 15. (Underlying notion: He need not come so often. The 

intinitive has to supplied from the context.) 

Exceptions seem to be mostly due to the preposition to being placed 
before the infinitive (for the sake of the metre or rhythm), the 
preposition destroying, in a manner, the closeness with which to 
need is connected with the infinitive and, to a certain extent, re- 
establishing its independence and, consequently, its regular conju= 
gation. See also 13. 

He that is well hanged in this world needs to fear no colours. Siiak., 

Twelfth Night I, 5, 6. 

I am not wont to be baffled in my enterprises, nor needs a Norman noble 

scrupulously to vindicate his conduct to the Saxon maiden whom he 

distinguishes by the offer of his hand. Scott, Ivanhoe (Bell's Reading* 

Books, 112). 

The parents want the child's help and care, the child is bound to give it; 

that is all it needs to know. Mrs. Ward, Rob. Elsm., I, 196. T. 

In the following quotation needs is used although the following 
infinitive is not preceded by to. 

I see a man here needs not live by shifts. Siiak., Com. of Er., Ill, 2, 187. 

The personal ending appears to be regularly preserved in the ex* 
pressions it needs not, it needs only. See also 7, b. 

It needs not to tell what she said and promised on behalf of Nelly. Wait. 
Besant, All Sorts and Cond. of Men, Ch. XLVIII, 318. 
It needs not to be said that much which is true of our country at that 
time is true also of others. Mary Bateson, Mediaeval England, Pref. 
it needs only to turn over a page or two of Ray's collection of English 
proverbs to become convinced that many of our homely adages are coarse 
enough. 1 ) 

Similarly in there needs, which appears to be usually divided from 
the infinitive by the subject. 

There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave | To tell us this. 
Siiak., Haml., I, 5, 125. 

There needs be no beggar in countries where there are many acres of un« 
improved improvable land. Eng. Rev., No. c )0, 470. 

) Stof., Hand!. Ill, § 108. 


c) When under no negativing influence, to need normally retains 
the personal suffix. 

A statesman needs to w'eu» problems from an entirely different and much wider 

platform than was necessary half a century .i£^. V. Seymour Bryant, The 

Public School System, ( h. VI, 72. 

To be a poet a man needs to be advantageously placed in the world. Tom 

Hood, Eng. Versific, VI. 

s mething needs to ^<. said as to ilie extent and character oi the Congo.. 

atrocities. A t h e n , No 4452, 211c. 

The old is done with, and the Tree of lite needs to be well shaken before 

the new fruit will drop. .M*s Ward, CouS. Phil. Ch. VI. 98. 

Note. '0 Excepted are certain phrases, viz.: tt) he (she or it) need 
be when approximately equivalent to he (she or it) may in all fairness, 
be expected to be (considering), Dutch dat mag hij (;ij or het) dan 
ook wel; ,1) as need be, in which the anticipating if is dispensed with 
(Ch. II, 18, b), the suppression of the personal suffix being, perhaps, 
due to the analogy of if need be, in which need is a noun and the 
subject of the subjunctive be. See the treatise on Mood, 37, and 
Addenda and Corrigenda; compare also 11, c, Note. 

i. "It's only about young Twist, my dear", said Mr. SowerberrY, "a very good 
looking boy that, my dear". — "He need be, for he eats enough", observed 
the lady. Dick.. 01. Twist, Ch. V, 57 
ii. I fall as deep as need be in love with a young ladv. Shir., Riv., Ill, 4. 
1 he staircase was as wooden and solid .i.s need be. Dim., Little Dorrit, 
Ch. IV. 22a. 

Compare: What happened to her own heart did not matter so long as he 
was happy, and had all that he wanted with her and away from her — if 
need be — always away from her. Galsworthy, Bevond, IV, Ch. IX, 411. 

Finally it may be observed that the suffix of the second person 
singular est, is never suppressed. 

Thou needest but keep that countenance. Siiak., Cymb, III, 4, 14. 
Thou need'st not be gone, id Rom. and Jul., Ill, 5, 16. 

10. The dropping of the tense=suffix may be due to the d of need 
being felt as the ending of the preterite (Storm, Eng. Phil.", 
1038), but, more probably, to the haplology which has given 
existence to numerous shortenings, such as England (from Old 
English Englaland, i. e. the land of the Angles), eighteen (from 
Old English e(a)htatyne ontene), humbly (instead of humblely), 
wed (instead of wedded), etc. Compare Abbot, Shak. Gram. 3 , 
§ 342; Jkspersen, E. S., XXIII, 461. 

It must also be observed that the substitution of need for 
needed often makes for an improved rhythmical How of the 


11. The dropping of the tense*suffix is chiefly met with in negative 

a) It is distinctly the rule in the preterite indicative in subor* 
dinate clauses, especially statements. See also 7, b, 2. 

Grimm could not help interrupting her with a pleasant laugh and the 
assurance that she need not be uneasy about her debt any longer, Stof., 
Handl., I, 56. 

Exceptions are not unfrequent. 

This soon convinced me that I needed to use no precautions as to my safety 
on his account. Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, 210. 

She saw that she needed not to fear me, Blackmorf, Lorna Doone, Ch XVI, 96. 
They promised with the eyes what they needed not to promise with the 
tongue. A. Hope, The Chron. of Count Antonio, Ch. Ill, 82. T. 

In principal sentences suppression is usual only when another verb 
shows the tense, but needed not is in ordinary language replaced by 
did not need. See also 7, b, 2. 

i. Thirty years ago you needed but to be a Milor Anglais travelling in a 
private carriage, and credit was at your hand whenever you chose to seek it. 
Thack., Van. Fair, II, Ch. I, 9. 

They needed to say no more. Temple Thurston, The City of Beaut. 
Nons., Ill, Ch. VI, 260. 
ii.* John needed not to reply. Mrs. Craik, John Hal., Ch. XXXVI, 393. 
* One did not need to be told that. Kingsley, Herew., Ch. Ill, 26 b. 

iii. Mr. Weston need not spend a single evening in the year alone if he did not 
like it. Jane Austen, Emma, Ch. I, 12. T. 

There was play, certainly — all the world played . . . But nobody need play 
who did not like; and surely nobody need have scruples regarding the practice. 
Thack., Virg., Ch. XLIX, 724. 

Nothing was impossible for Ropsley and he need only try to succeed. 
W. Melville, Interpreter, I, Ch. VII, 67. 
If you didn't want to learn, you needn't. Wells, Kipps, III, Ch. I, § 2, 132. 

b) The dropping of the tensessuffix is practically regular in the 
preterite conditional followed by a perfect infinitive, the 
complex predicate expressing the fact that an action or state 
for which there was no necessity has yet come into fulfilment. 
See also 7, b, 3; 12, c; and 58, b. 

You needn't have been so sharp. Dick., Domb., Ch. IV, 29. 
You need not have told me that. Flor. Marryat, A Bankrupt Heart, I, 20. T. 
The world knows that Paris need never have fallen, could France only have 
produced one mediocre military genius in this her moment of need. Mfrriman. 1 ) 

The following quotations exhibit exceptional practice: 

He needed not to have undertaken an arduous march of 260 miles. Southey, 
Penins. War, II, 630 2 ) 

') Wendt, Synt. des heut. Eng., 29. 
) Murray. 


Mil hardU needed to haart asked this question Mrs. Gask., Life of Ch. 
Bronte, 209. 

c) In non* negative contexts the full form needed is the rule. 

The ladies Devenisb were not disposed to make her life .my easier than it 
needed to be. hi ok. MakrYAT, A Bankrupt Heart, 230. T. 
M. Charles Rivet ... in an arresting study entitled The Last of the Romanofs, 
ts forth many things that needed to be said. Punch, No. 4005, 240a. 

Note. But the sufHx is regularly suppressed in the phrases «) / 
(you, etc.) n<.ed be in the sense of 7 (you, etc.) had need be, and /J) as 
need be, in which there is a suppression of the personal pronoun it 
Compare Ch. II, IS, b; also 9, c, Note 2. 

i. "Is yours a strong constitution?" inquired Tozer. Paul said that he thought 
not. Tozer said that he thought not also, judging from Paul's looks, and 
that it was a pity, for it need be. Dick., Domb., Ch. XII, 105. 

ii. They would be as happy among themselves as need be. Dhk.. Ol. 
Twist. Ch. VI. 64. 
On they went as briskly as need be. id., Pickw. Ch. XIX, 165. 

12. a) To is dispensed with after need as a present indicative, 

1) regularly in questions. See also 7, a; and 9, a. 

i. Then live, Macduff: what need I /ear of thee? Shak.. Macb., IV, 1, 82. 
ii. Who need go hungry with such kind friends ready to feed him ? Westm. 
Gaz., No. 8573, 6a. 

2) mostly in negative contexts, including such as imply a 
negative although containing no negative word. See also 
7, b; and 9, b. 

i.° What an amazing place London was to me when I saw it in the distance,. . . 

I need not stop here to relate. Dick., Cop., Ch. V, 36a. 

"Thank God," said the Dean at breakfast, "we needn't cast down our eyes 

and slink bv when we meet a Frenchman". \V. J. Locke. The Rough 

Road. Ch. IV. 4b. 
•• Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears. Dick., Great Expect., 

Ch. XIX, 192. 

If we are careful we need never cease to be attractive S\r\h Grand, Oui 

Manifold Nature, 103. 

You never need urge clemency on me. Mrs. Wood, Orv. Col , Ch. IV, 56. 

While I live you need have no fear for Doggie. W. J. Locke, The Rough 

Road, Ch. XIV, 171. 
ii.' Only the closing or the opening need be heard for the ear to distinguish 

the sound. Riffmann, Sounds of Spok. Eng., § 21. 

Attention need only be drawn to the fact that, while the price of the book 

has been lowered, the matter contained in it has been augmented by thirtv 

two closelypacked pages. Annandaie, Cone. Diet. Pref. to Sec. Ed. 
' I need hardly say that I shall be grateful for any criticisms and suggestions 

Sweet, N. E. Gr., Pref., 16. 

We need scarcely emphasize the point that naval strength is at present chiefly 

estimated by those ships generally called Dreadnoughts II. Lond. News 

No. 3852. Sup. IV. 



iii It is not at all in this bargain that you need become attached to my child, 

or that my child need become attached to you. Dick., Domb., Ch. II, 15. 

On the whole I don't think people need keep awake at nights worrying 

about us. Westm. Gaz. No. 8373, 6b. 
iv.* Very little appears to have happened that need be kept secret, ib. No. 8467, 3 a. 
' It is only for that that we need postpone the marriage. Gissing, A Life's 

Mom., Ch. VI, 88. 
* Of course that is not all, but it is all I need speak of. ib., Ch. IV 56. 

(.ill has the value of the only thing.) 
' They made the prettiest, quaintest groups you need think of. Westm. Gaz., 

No. 5185, 45 a. 

Note. In Shakespeare and his contemporaries to is frequently retained 
in negative contexts, not only in verse, but also in prose. 

i. For what I have I need not to repeat. Rich. II, III, 4, 17 (verse). 

You need not to fear the bawd. Meas. for Meas., II, 1, 247 (prose). 

You need not to have pricked me. Henry IV, B, III, 2, 125 (prose). 

As for triumphs, masks, feasts, weddings, funerals, capital executions, and 

such shows, men need not to be put in mind of them. Bacon, Es. XVIII, 

Of Travel (51). 
ii. The boy never need to understand any thing. Merry Wives, II, 2, 152 


Never excuse; for when the players are all dead, there need none to be 

blamed. Mids., V, 564 (prose). 

Late Modern English instances appear to be rare. 

i. You need not to think . . . that you're a neglected man of science. 

Ch. Bronte, Shirley, I, Ch. V, 78. T. 

You need not to suppose that your class are martyrs, ib. 

I need not to swear that oath, for I have sworn it long ago. Kingslev, 

Westw. Ho!, Ch. XXVI, 202a. 
ii. He that would form a lively idea of the regions of the damned, need only 

to witness, for six hours, a scene to which I was confined. Godwin, Cal. 

W'il., II. Ch. XI, 253. 

Reason is faith, faith is reason. That is all we know on earth and that is 

all we need to know. Max Beerbohm, Seven Men, IV, 147. 

b) After need as a preterite indicative to appears to be regularly 
suppressed in negative contexts. See also 7, b; and 11, a. 

L* He told me that I need not make myself at all uneasy about his daughter's 
unhappiness. Dick., Cop., Ch. XXXVIII, 276a. 

Miss Bussey observed, in an indignant tone, that John need not throttle the 
dog. A. Hon:, Comedies of Courtship, I, Ch. I, 5. 
The victory was so complete that fear need play no part in the settlement. 
Keynes, Econ. Con. of the Peace, Ch. Ill, 54. 

c) Similarly after need as a preterite conditional followed by 
a perfect infinitive, to is regularly dispensed with in negative 
contexts. See also 7, b, 3; 11, b; and 58, b. 

i. He needn't have taken the trouble to shrink from Mr. Bumble's glance. 
I);- K., 01. Twist, Ch. V. 


He had spoken late, but he need not have spoken at all. Dor. Gfkard, 
1 xotic Martha, <. b XXII, 260. 1 

You needn't have made an exhibition of yourself in the town if you didn't 
want to. W. I Locke, The Rough Road, I h XI, 123. 

ii. It .it that moment he clasped her and kissed her, instead of Sitting there, 
glaring into space, the rest of tins story need never have been written. 
Ei. Glyn, 1 he Reason Win . Ch. XX. I 

J) When the context is not negative, to is rarely absent. 

i. People need to rise early, to see the sun in .ill his splendour. Dick., Pickv. , 
( h V, 38 

You need to be told something that your eves would not tell you. Ch, KlNGSLEY, 
Herew., c h. III. 26b 

It is you who rut J to slink .ind cower, not we. GxANl Aims, Hilda Wade, 
Ch XI, 329. 

How is it, then, that we need to dig our soils so deeply to ensure good 
crops.' W'estm. Gaz., No. 8461, 16a. 

Hnglishmen need to think very seriously about the situation into which the 
Government's policy has led them, ib.. No. 8527, 2 b. 
ii. I know my duty. I need know it, I am sure. Dick., Barn. Rudge, 
Ch. XIX, 74 a. 

You need have good cards, sir. id., A Tale of Two Cities, III, Ch. XIII. 336. 
We need analyse it into such parts as these. Prof. Wnirs 

Note. The absence of to is regular in the phrases / (von, etc) need 
be in the sense of / (you, etc.) had need be, and as need be, in which 
the anticipating it is. dispensed with. For illustration see 9, c, Note <;; 
and 11, c, Note. 
In Siiakkspeare to is sometimes retained. 

I was as virtuously given as a gentleman need to be. Henry IV, A, III, 3, 17. 

13. After the finite forms needs (or needeth), needest and needed 
the infinitive almost regularly stands with to. See also 9, b, 2. 

i. Blank verse . . . needs tc be relieved by the greatest intensity of thought and 
expression, Academy, 1891, 498a. 

The officer needs to be exceptionally spry to get through his multifarious duties 
in a satisfactory manner. Graph., 1S92, 759. 

Hall - Distemper needs only to be seen to be admired. II. Lond. New , 
No. 38 58. 420 b. 
ii. He never needed to ask what they were about Lytton, Paul Clif., Ch.XXII, 262. 

Note. The following quotations exhibit exceptional practice, mostly 
due to the requirements of metre or rhythm: 

i. Nor need'st thou much importune me to that Whereon this month I have been 
hammering. Suak , Two Gent., I, 3, 17. 

Thou need'st say no more. Scott, Ivanhoe, Ch. XXIV, 224. T. 
Thou need'st no longer fear me. ib., 2 32. 
ii. This incident ... needed be no surprise to him. Ib mi. Hist. Eng., III. 

') Stof., HandL, III, § 107. 


14. After the verbals, i. e. the infinitive, the gerund and the parti* 
ciples of to need, the infinitive is almost regularly preceded by 
to. See also 7, b, 2. 

i. One would need to be learned in the fashions of those times to know how 
far in the rear of them Mrs. Glegg's slate=coloured silk gown must have been. 
G. Eliot, Mill, I, Ch. VII, 45. 

You don't need to be mad to do that. Mrs. Ward, The Mating of Lydia, 
I, Ch. Ill, 19. 

Free institutions may need to be suspended if not destroyed in the interests of 
distant empire. Daily Chron. 

The dictionaiy will need to be supplemented for the requirements of our posterity. 
ii. You will soon feel how your tongue moves without needing to look at it. 

Rjpfmann, Sounds of Spoken Eng., § 9. 
iii. The favourite seat of Byron in the churchyard on Harrow Hill has needed to 
be guarded by an iron cage from the poet's admirers, who were carrying it 
away piecemeal. Edw. E. Morris, Intr. to Byron's Childe Har., 12. 

In the following quotation to is dispensed with to satisfy the requires 
ments of the metre. 

I shall not need transport my words by you. Shak., Rich. II, II 3, SI. 

15. a) To need is used not only in the meaning of to be required, 

but also in that of to require, i. e. the notion it expresses 

may be not only that the operation of a demand is directed 

to a person or thing, but also that it proceeds from a person 

or thing. The latter meaning is indubitable in the verb 

when it has a (pro)noun for its object, as in / need your 

assistance; and also when it is construed with an accusative 

with infinitive. Thus in: 

I don't need you to tell me what you think. Frank Swinnerton, Nocturne, 
I, Ch. II, II, 74. 

Under the very nose of John was the best place for that secret bottle of 
pills, had she needed it to be seen. Temple Thurston, The City of Beaut. 
Nons., Ill, Ch. VII, 278. 

b) Also when followed by an infinitive, especially a passive 
infinitive, to need may have the second meaning, but in this 
combination there is mostly some uncertainty as to the inter* 
pretation to be put upon the verb. It is particularly the 
verbals which, when followed by an infinitive, frequently 
lean to this interpretation. 

i. I know all I need to know about her. HiCHENS, The Fruitful Vine, 
Ch. II, 24. (If need were to be understood in the first meaning, it would, 
most probably, have rejected to before the infinitive (12, a, 2). 


And you have done this for us, Crichton, because you thought that — that 

father needed to be kept in his place. G. M. Karrif, The Admirable 

Crichton, I, 47. 
ii." One did not need to he told that. Kingsley, Here ward. Ch. Ill, 26 b. 

The night air is ^ hill . and you must need to Utt and rest. BftAM STOKER, 

Dracula, Ch. II, 17. 

Things she would formerly have understood at a half=word she now affected 

to need to have exp'ained to her. GlSSlNC, A Life's Morning, Ch. XV, 219. 

Or a chariot! to ca rv us up into the sky, where the lamps are stars and 

don't need to be fi'.Ud with paraffin oil every day Siiamt, C a nd ida , II, 155. T. 
" I am sitting here with some vanity in me, needing to be scolded. G. Eliot, 

Fel. Holt, II, Ch. LI, 353. 
*** I have never needed to use the catheter again. II. Lond. News. 

c) There would, however, be no reason for insisting on the 
second meaning of to need, if it were not for the fact that 
it seems to account satisfactorily for a grammatical peculiarity 
which, otherwise, would be rather baffling. Thus, contrary 
to the practice ordinarily observed with to need in the first 
meaning, we find it in the second meaning taking the per* 
sonal ending of the third person in the present indicative. 
See 9, a and b. 

i. Who needs to be told that if a woman has a will, she will assuredly find 

a way? Thai k., Van. Fair, I, Ch. XVI. 16 + . 
ii. Vice to be hated, needs but to be seen. Pope, Es. on Man, II, 218. 

It was an ugly story oi low passion, delusion, and waking from delusion, 
which needs not to be dragged from the privacy of Godfrey's bitter memory. 
G. Eiiot. Sil. Mam.. I. Ch. Ill, 25. 

I consider the ode beyond the scope of those for whom it is intended and 
it needs not to be discussed on that account. Tom Hood, Versification, 43. 
The immense pan that sensation has played in the evolution of the drama 
hardly needs to be elaborated. Hor. Hutchinson, (West m Gar. No.8s79, 10a). 
A prospeious country is found to be compatible not only with Free Trade 
in foreign agricultural produce, but with the taxation of other commodities 
which the farmer needs to buy. Westm. Gaz., No. t>193, 2a. 

d) After to need in the second meaning the passive infinitive 
varies with the gerund, which is regularly kept in the active 
voice. See Gerund, 26, b. 

The conflicting states of mind one passes through about wo>k are among 
the things which most need making allowance for, Rossetti, Let. to S w i nburne. 
The statement contains at least two assumptions which need looking into. 
Westm. Gar., No. 83.3, 7a. 

16. Also before proceeding to discuss the variable practice regarding 
the use of to before the infinitive after to dare, it seems advi* 
sable to draw the student's attention to the use of to do as 


connected with this verb, and to some anomalies in its conju* 


Like to need, to dare is felt partly as a full verb, partly as a 

verb forming a kind of unit with the following infinitive. 

Hence the vacillation in some of its syntactical features. 

17. a) In questions to do is mostly dispensed with, questions of 
the second kind (Ch. VII, 3) being, apparently, regularly 
constructed without to do. Note the frequent How dare 
you? See also 21, a. 

i.'" Do you dare to think that we are to blame after that? Wilkie Collins, 
After Dark, 167.') 

Did he dare set himself up to be finer clay than that common soldier? 
W.J. Locke, The Rough Road, Ch. IX, 100. 

What! dares the slave come hither? Shak., Rom. and Jul., I, 5. 

Darest thou come betwixt me and mine enemy? Scott, Kenilw., Ch. IV, 50. 

Dare I trust thee? id., Ivanhoe, Ch. XXIV, 231. 

Dare you suspect me whom the thought would kill? Byron, Don Juan, 


Dare you promise to come to me in ten years and tell me with complete 

frankness what you think of — a certain step? Gissing, A Li fes Morn., 

Ch. XIV, 201. 

Dare I .go to her, Wilfrid? ib., Ch. XXVI, 347. 

He walked slowly along the river. Dared he speak? Galsworthy, Beyond, 

III, Ch. V, 273. 

He was sitting there, prodding at the gravel, a nervous twittering in his 

heart, and that eternal question: Dare I speak? asking itself within him. ib., 273. 

ii. How dare you think your lady would go on so? Byrox, Don Juan, I, CXLVI. 
How dared you read iff Godwin, Cal. Wil., II, Ch. Ill, 63. 
How dare you insult me like that? Flor. Marryat, A Bankrupt Heart, 
I. 42, T. 

How dare you sa\' such a thing? Shaw, ('.and, II, (145). T. 
How dare men be so effeminate? Galsw., Beyond, 1, Ch. IV, 39. 
How dared you interrupt my service in the way? Westm. Gaz., No. 8438, 9a. 

b) In negative sentences or clauses with not the written language 
apparently prefers the simple, the spoken language the 
periphrastic construction. Thus Dean Alford (The Queen's 
Eng. "\ § 52) observes, "I imagine that every one would 
write he dared not: I am sure that every one would say 
he didn't dare — ". The first part of the Dean's statement 
is not borne out by what we find in the printed language, 
didn't dare appearing frequently enough in diction which 
does not strike us as colloquial. See also 28. 

') Ellinger, Verm. Beitr., 76. 


i rhough 1 U..S hungry, I dared not eat my slice. Dick., Expect., 
Ch. I. 14 

I daren't go to him alone Beats. II\k., Ships, I. < h, XV, 87. 
u I didn t think Miss Creakle equal to little Em'ly in point of beauty and 
1 didn t love her (1 didn't dare) Dick • op., < h, VII, 46a 
I did not dare Jo -o Lytton, N i g h t and Morn., 35 

I didn't dare leave him for an insunt to wake the laird and -.end tor .1 doctor 

I I Mauriee, Trilby, II, 125. 1 

Note. In the rather unusual imperative the simple construction 
seems to be confined to literary language. See also 23. 

i. Dare not to return hither a fourth time. SCOTT, Antiquary, 401. 1 ) 

Dare not to say it is id. Fort oi N 
ii "Shall I ask him to come to you, madam ?" "No; don't dare to do it. if 

you love me." G. Eliot, Pel. Holt, II. Ch. L, 345. 

Don't you dare call my wife a monster! Shaw, Overruled (Eng Rev., 

No 54, 191). 

18. The anomalies in the conjugation of to dare consist in the 
frequent suppression of the personal suffix in the third person 
singular of the present indicative, and of the tensessuffix in 
the preterite. 

19. a) The absence of the personal ending is due to the verb being 

one of the preteritespresent verbs, of which the extant present 
is an original preterite or perfect. (See my treatise on 
Tense, 8, e.) The original form dare, like its preterite 
durst, remained undisturbed until the modern period. But 
earlv in the sixteenth century the new forms dares and dared 
appeared in the South. The form (he) dares was already 
quite common in the seventeenth century, and is now more 
frequent than (he) dare, at least before an infinitive with 
to (25). According to A. Schmidt (Shak. Lex., s. v. dare) 
Shakespeare uses dare and dares indiscriminately. 

Curses not loud, but deep, mouth'honour, breath, Which the poor heart 

would fain deny, and dare not. Shak., Macb., V, 3, 28. 

The poor Amy is now greater than she dare name. Scott, Kenil worth, 

Ch. IV. 45. 

It is a thing so terrible that one dare not think of it. Graph., No. 2691, 770a 

She dare not say his name. J. M. Barrie, The A dmirable Crichton, III, 109. 

Note. The original form dare, instead of the modern dares, seems 
to have been regularly preserved in questions. 

Dare any soul on earth breathe a word against the sweetest of young women? 
Thack., Van. Fair, I, Ch. XVIII, 188. 

') Swaen, E. S., XX., 290 


b) Murray (s. v. dare, Note) observes that "the northern 

dialects generally retain he dare, he durst, and writers of 

northern extraction favour their retention in literary English 

when followed by the simple infinitive without fo". Shake* 

speare has only durst, and also Bunyan seems to have used 

no other form. Throughout the eighteenth century durst 

appears to have been more generally used than dared, but 

as we approach more modern times, the latter form is more 

and more preferred, durst gradually becoming unusual in 

Standard English. According to Murray (s. v. dare, B, 

I, 1, c), none dared to speak is more emphatic than none 

durst speak. 

Longer I durst not stay. Milton, Comus, 577. 

How durst thon then thyself approach so near | As to make this relation? 

ib., 6/7. 

1 could not sufficiently wonder at the intrepidity of these diminutive mortals, 

who durst I'cnturc to mount and walk upon my body. Swift, Gul., I, 

Ch. I (116b). 

None ever durst attack him. Fielding, Jos. Andrews, I, Ch. XII, 29. 

He durst not strike them for fear of their uncles, the uncles durst not kill 

him, because of their nieces. Sher., Critic, III, 1. 

Why does he haunt this house, whispering through chinks and crevices as 

if there was that between him and you which neither durst so much as 

speak of. Dick., Barn. Rudge, Ch. VI, 24b. 

You'd be everybody's master, if you durst, id., Great Expect., Ch. XV, 137. 

I durst not, alas! tell the truth. Kingsley, Alton Locke, Ch. Ill, 36. 

It was only one glance that I durst take. Stevenson, Treas. I si. 

Sunday was the day he always gave to Beatrice. But he durst not think of 

that now. Gissing, A Life's Morn., Ch. XXIII, 319. 

In Early Modern English durst is also used as a preterite conditional. 
This practice survives only in the language of the illiterate, where 
durst, however, is mostly felt as a present indicative, in like manner 
as ought or should. Compare Fran/., E. S., XII; Fidzldward Hall, 
Mod. Eng., 228-9; Storm; Eng. Phil.'-', 766. 

I durst, my lord, to wager she is honest. Shak., Oth., IV, 2, 12. 

I have no desire, and besides, if I had, I durst not. Sternf, Tristram 

Shandy, III, XX. 

"Come down and undo the shop=window, that I may get in that way." — 

"1 durstn't do it. Simmun", cried Miggs. Dick., Barn. Rudge, Ch. IX, 38a. 

If hennyone was to orffer to bet a thousan poun that youll hend by bein 

a bishop yourself, I dussent take the bet. Shaw, Candida, I, (128). T. 

Sometimes it is uncertain whether durst is to be apprehended as a 
preterite indicative or preterite conditional. 

.Many a vile plan dwelt with him, which he knew he durst not put into practice. 
Gissing, A life's Morn., Ch. XIII, 184. 


c) Besides dared and durst we also Knd dare as a preterite 
indicative, chiefly in connexion with not. The substitution 
of dare for dared in connexion with not is, apparently, due 
to phonetic decay, the d of the three successive point* 
consonants in dared not naturally falling out in unaffected 
speech. Compare the analogous substitution of usen't for 
used not, and musn't for must not, as in: 

i. "I am not one of her admirers." — "1 usen't to be, but I .im now 
OsC. Wimr. Lady Wind. fan, III. (102). 

I used to be on material forces, usen't I? Ethei Rolt. Wheeler, The 
Edge of the World (Eng. Rev., No. 52, ; 
ii. You musn't delay me. Shaw, The Man oi Destiny, (235). T. 

The preterite indicative dare, although condemned by Murray (s. v. 
dare, A, 1, c) as careless, is frequent enough in writers of unques- 
tionably pure English. Compare JsSPERSEN, E. S., XXIII; id., 
Negation, 124; Sarrazin, E. S., XXII. 334. Swaen, E. S.. XX; 
Storm, Eng. Phil., 765; Hoppe, Sup. Lex.-, s. v. dare. See also 24. 
A sense of awe, weakness, all but fear, came over him. He dare not stoop 
to take up the wood at his feet. KlNGSLET, Hyp., Ch. II, 2a. 
Orestes knew well enough that the lellows must have been bribed to allow 
the theft; but he dare not say so to men on whose good humour his very 
life might depend. ib„ Ch. XX, 105 a. 

I dare not ask my mother for books, for I dare not confess to her that 
religious ones were just what I did not want. id.. Alton Locke, Ch. II, 29. 
He sat with his head bent forward... a tattered, haggard, hopeless wretch. 
so broken down that one dare not reproach him. Conway, Called Hack. 242 
How should I break it to Cora? What should I say to bet? Tell her the 
truth, I dare not. Sims, My Two Wives. 49. 

The use of the preterite dare without nof is, as yet, very uncommon. 

for none of all his men \ Dare tell him Dora waited with the child. 

s!d he. dan he, con/ess to him the whole truth? KlNCSLEY, Hyp.. Ch. 1. 2b 

Instances of Jare as a preterite conditional appear to be very rare. 

If I were not chained to the Moor, you dare as well tat vour lingers as use 

such language. Godwin, Cal. Wil., II. Ch. XIV. 272 

He dare not keep you waiting if you were at liberty. Sn\\\, I he Man of 

Destiny. (203). T. 

Do you think that if I wanted those despatches only for myself. 1 dare 

venture into a battle for them? ib., (220). 

d) Since the sixteenth century to dare has also been used as 
an ordinary transitive verb in various shades of meaning. 
As such it has always been conjugated regularly: dares, dared. 

20. The use of to before the inHnitive after to dare has been the 
subject of a good manv painstaking investigations. Especial 


mention should be made of those instituted by Sattler (E. S., 
XXVI), Swaen (E. S., XX and XXIII), Ellinger (E. S., XXI 
and Vermischte Beitrage, 75 ff), Fijn van Draat (Rhythm 
in Eng. Prose, Angl. Forsch, 29). The last*mentioned 
scholar has made out a strong case for the use of to depending 
in large measure on the requirements of metre or rhythm. 
It is partly on the results obtained by the above scholars that 
the following exposition is based. 

21. Dare as a present indicative is followed by an infinitive with; 
out to, 

a) mostly in questions with inverted word*order. Instances of 
the alternative practice appear to be uncommon. See also 17, a. 

i. O Rebecca, Rebecca, for shame ! . . . How can you — how dare you have 

such wicked revengeful thoughts? Thack., Van. Fair, I, Ch. II, 10. 

How dare you call him by such a name? Flor. Marryat, A Bankrupt 

Heart, I, 122. T. 

But after what I have said, dare you accuse me again of being ignorant of 

housemaids? Punch, No. 3721, 349a. 
ii. How dare you to insinuate that you don't know any character better than 

your words imply? Dick., Cop., Ch. IV, 25a. 

b) mostly in negative contexts. 

They (sc. the officials) dare not stir outside the Castle walls, except in 
armoured cars. Westm. Gaz., No. 8379, 2b. 

c) occasionally in contexts which are neither interrogative nor 

i. I dare be sworn for him, he would not leave it (sc. the ring). Shak., Merch. 
of Ven., V, 1, 172. 

If you dare utter a word against me, you will find that, as I am the last to 
care for a threat, so I am the first to resent an injury. Lytton, Night and 
Morn., 153. T. 
ii. "Mr. Copperfield ", returned my mother, "is dead, and if you dare to speak 
unkindly of him [etc.]." Dick., Cop., Ch. I, 4a. 

I will never love you again, if you dare to go. Kingsley, Hyp., Ch. XII. 62a. 
It seems to me that those who dare to rebel are they who make life possible 
for those whose temperament compels them to submit. Sarah Grand. The 
Heavenly Twins, I, 123b. 

And then you, who know all this, who have known us so many years, you 
dare to come here and insult me! Flor. Marryat, A Bankrupt Heart. 

22. a) Obs. In the phrase / dare say in the sense of J have no doubt, I am 

ready to admit, or / do not wonder, the bare infinitive is however, 

practically fixed. 

Don't let us despair. / dare say things will all, somehow or other, turn out 
for the best. Wash. Irv., Dolf Heyl. (Stof., Handl., I, 149). 


I dart, say I gave myself airs .is editor of that confounded "Museum". Trol., 
Thack.. Ch. I. 9 

"I should be quite amused to know what you did t.ilk about. — "I 

>.iy, you would B I \ i k . 1 1 nk . Ships, I, Ch. Ill, 13. 

b) As the phrase is sometimes represented as an isolated expression, it 
seems desirable to state here that variations are not particularly 
uncommon; not only so far as we may take the place of / in editorial 
statements, but also, in reported speech, as regards the ordinary 
possibilities of person or tense 

i Arabella repaired to her place of destination wherever it might have been — 
ire dare say Mr. Winkle knew, but we confess we don't. Dick., Pickw., 
Ch. XXX 

U V dare say this aspect oi the matter has been emphasized by that section 
of the Unionist canvassers. Westm Gaz., No. 6228, 1c. 

ii. He (sc. the poor relation) dure (sic) say you must find a great convenience 
in having a carriage of your own. Ch, Lamb, 1 ast Es. of EL, Poor 
Relations, (294) 

The lady of the store and apron will reply that peas have been out for ten 
days or more, but that, if you give her time, and don't mind the money, 
she dares say she might manage to get you, sav. a saucer full. Punch, 
Roundabout Readings, 1896, 15 Aug., 81. 

lii. "I have always defended you, and said, I didn't think you so ugly by any 
means." — "Thank you." — "And / dared say you'd make a very good 
sort of a husband." Siiek., School for Scand., Ill, 1, I 
To this Mrs. Nickleby only replied that she durst say she was very stupid. 
Dick., Nich. Nick, Ch. I.V, 36b a. 

Missis was, .she dared say, glad enough to get rid of such a tiresome, ill* 
conditioned child. Ch. Bronte, Jane Eyre, Ch. III. 24 
He dared say that at the docks they had a certain number of Irishmen at 
work. Westm. Gaz., No. 6441, 2 b. 

c) Even instances of the infinitive being preceded by to are not entirely 

Molly dared to s,iv .Mrs Barter would let his honour see the house [HACK., 

Virg., Ch. I. 11. 

It is announced that our cavalry are on the heels oi the Hun How many 
of our troopers are engaged on this work? Just detachments employed in 
maintaining touch with the enemy S rearguards, who are in process of orderly 
withdrawal to a deliberately prepared new alignment And so, / dare to 
say, will be the task that our own and the French mounted arm will still 
tind imposed on them when these pages appear in print. Eng Rev., 
101, "" 

d) In the meaning of / renrure to assert the expression is now rarely, 
if ever used; but the negative / (or we) dare not say in the sense 
of / will not venture to say seems to be current English. 

/ daren't say I know, but here are some impressions. Westm G a z 

No. 65t>4. 12b. 

We dare nof say it is untrue, ih.. No 7011, la. 

We dare not say as yet that the rout (of the Italians) is stopped, ib.. 

No. "(-07. 1 a. 


e) In conclusion we call attention to such variants of / dare say as 
/ dare answer, I dare swear, which also appear to dispense with to 
before the following infinitive. 

llvst. Then you're no friend to the ladies, I lind, my pretty young gentle* 

man? — Tony. That's as I find 'um. — H.\st. Not to her of your mother's 

choosing, / dare answer. Goldsmith, She Stoops, II, (194). 

/ dare swear the truth of the matter is, Maria heard you were here. Sher., 

School for Seand., I, 1, (366). 

/ dare swear he will do both (sc. look after the place and marry). Marj. 

Bow in, The Rake's Progress, I, Ch. I, 6. 

23. Dare as an imperative seems to require to before the following 
infinitive, but this use of the verb is an uncommon one. See 
also 17, b, Note. 

i. Bert. Death and hell! | Dare to speak thus when you come out again. Torr. 
Dare to provoke me thus, insulting man! Dryden, Span. Friar, II, 1,(139). 
You bring me, to-morrow morning early, that file and them wittles . . . 
You do it, and you never dare to say a word or dare to make a sign concern* 
ing your having seen such a person as me. Dick., Great Expect., Ch. I, 8. 
Go — , and never dare to speak to this man again! Ridfr Haggard, She, 182. ) 
Never you dare to darken my doorstep again! Du Malrier, Trilby, II, 60. 
If you want a great casus belli, I If you would be thumped to a jelly, I Just 
dare to suggest \ That the greatest and best | In the world is not Marie Corelli ! 
Punch, 1896, 9 May, 221. 
ii. Look at me, Sir, and dare tell me there is any reason why I should take your 
word. Harper's Mag, No. 7, 182.-) 

24. Dare as a preterite indicative is rarely, if ever, followed by an 
infinitive with to. See also 19, c. 

I dare not ask my mother for books, for I dare not confess to her that religous 
ones were just what I did not want. Kingsley, Alton Locke, Ch. II, 29. 

25. Both dares and darest mostly stand with the bare infinitive. 
In fact hardly any instances of the alternative practice have 
come to hand up to the moment of writing. 

i And all the world to nothing, that he dares ne'er come back to challenge you. 
Siiak., Rom. and Jul., Ill, 5. 

Let me hear now who dares call him profligate. Shir., School for Scand., 
IV, 2, (406). 

It being bright daylight, however, Peter soon plucked up heart, knowing that 
no ghost dares show his face in such clear sunshine. Wash. Irv., Dolf 
Heyl., (Stop., Handl., I, (149). 

One often fancies in reading him (sc. SwPt) that he dares not be eloquent 
when he might. Thack., Eng. Hum., I, 16. T. 

No one darts say that this sum is in fact what has been demanded. Westm. 
Gaz., No. 8420, 2a. 

') Swaen, E. S., XX, 290. 

") Fijn van Draat, Rhythm, 90, 


Yonder is the enchanted manor, and the dragon, and the lady, all al thy ser- 
vice, if thou darest venture on them. Scon, Kenilw., Ch II, 26 
Daresi thou appeal to it He. the cross)V id., Ivanhoe, Ch. XXIV. 22 l > I 
But there be deeds thou J.irof not d>\ BYRON, Bride of Ah., I. V. 
ii. What art thou that dattsl to echo m\ tnords? Scott, Ivanhoe.') 

26. Dared as a preterite seems to govern a pure infinitive regularly 

when negatived by not. In other negative connexions there 

appears to he some predilection for the prepositional infinitive. 

For the rest the infinitive rarely stands without to, the pre; 

position being indispensable when the two verbs are divided by 

another element of the sentence. It will be observed that the 

practice observed mostly makes for a rhythmical flow of the 


i He daredn't refuse Miss Crawley anything. Thack., Van. Fair, 1, Ch. XIV, 

This woman, who loved rule, dared not speak another word of attempted per= 
suasion. G. Eliot, Fel. Holt, I, Ch. X, 175. 
I dared not contradict. Ch. Bronte, Villette. Ch. XXIII, 324. 
She dared not leave the house. Fior. Marrtat, A Bankrupt Heart, II, 
279. T. 

Whatever pangs of self=pity he felt ... he dared not express them to a living 
soul around. W. J. Lockf, The Rough Road, Ch. XIV, 163. 
His fiercest torment was the thought that he dared not fulfil the menace. 
Gissing. A Life's Morn., Ch. XIII, 184. 
it* No one dared attempt to stop him. Lamb, Tales, XII, 201. T. 

I never dared say so before ... I love you with my whole heart and soul. 
Lytton, My Novel, II, X, Ch. XXV, 242. 
If only I dared tell her now. Beatr. Har., Ships, 81. 

"He's a darling", she said in a whisper. — "And so are you , he thought, 
"if only I dared say it". Gaisw., Saint's Prog., IV, II, 361. 
The disillusion was so complete, that some of those who had trusted most 
hardly dared speak of it. Kiyms, Fcon. Cons, of the Peace, Ch. Ill, 35. 
°* (Here) no spectre dared to s/ioie his face. W\sm Ikv.. Sketch'Bk., XXXII, 


Nobody dared to annoy one whom he honoured with his countenance. DlCK., 

op., Ch. VII. 46a. 
Neither side dared to strike the first blow. Mac, Hist., I, Ch. II, 2S7. 
No admiral, bearded by these corrupt and dissolute minions of the palace, 
dared to do more than mutter something about a courtmartial. ib., (,h. Ill, I 
Nobody dared to separate them FiOK. Marryat, A Bankrupt Heart, I, 7 t) . 
I hardly dared to ask her I I H.s ON, Dodo, 33. 

Hood scarcely dared to utter the words which came into his mind. Gissi 
A Life's Morn , Ch. V. 83. 

There were times when he scarcely dared to take in his own that fine*moulded 
hand, ib., Ch. XXVI, 344. 
iii." 5 I would not have her think, he dared to love her. Dryden, Span Friar, 
II. I. (158). 

') Swabn, E. S., XX 


My mother immediately began to cry, and I wondered how Peggotty dared to 

s.u- such a thing. Dick., Cop., Ch. VIII, 56b. 

The noble wanderer (sc. Lord Byron) put boldly out to sea with his fortunes, 

and dared to hope for consolation on distant shores. Lytton, Life of Lord 

Byron, 23 a. 

It was very little that she dared to say on business. G. Eliot, Pel. Holt, 

I, Ch. VIII, 161. 

What he dared to do, he would. Gissing, A Life's Morn., Ch. XIII, 184. 

And that girl dared to say he was wasting himself. Galsvt., Beyond, IV 

( :h. IV, 375. 

She dared to feel that, because she dared to believe in the endless mercy of 

God. Hichens, The Garden of Allah, II, 15b, T. 

Who dared. I want to know, to make us suffer so? Tiiack., Virg., Ch. LXXV. 


27. Durst almost regularly stands with a bare infinitive. See the 
quotations in 19, b. The only instances of the alternative 
practice that have come to hand are the following, in which 
the use of to is, apparently, due to some other element of the 
sentence intervening between the two verbs. 

I durst, my lord, to wager she is honest. Siiak., Oth., IV, 2, 12. 
N'or durst they for a while to knock any more. Bunyan, Pilg. Prog. 1 ) 

28. After the infinitive dare the use of to is the rule, but construe* 
tions without to are by no means unfrequent. They are especially 
common after do (or did) not dare, but occur also after other 
complex predicates with dare. Some intervening element of the 
sentence being placed between the two verbs entails the use of 
to. When dare is not part of a complex predicate i. e. when 
it is itself preceded by to, usage is variable. See also 17, b. 

•-"' I did not dare to interrupt him. Sweet, N. b. Gr., § 148 d. 
r She almost did not dare he affected by the hymn the children sang. Thack., 
Van Lair, I, Ch. XII, 114. 

Here lies the coward who did not dare forgive. Lytton, Rienzi, V, Ch. I, 194. 
I did not dau ask. I)r Maurif.r, Trilby II, 231. T. 

1 did not dan show my Lice at ( ourt for a month. Os< . Wilde, Dor. Gray, 
< h. II, 48. J. 

She did nof dare go out. Flor. Marryat, A Bankrupt Heart, II, 47. T. 
You don'f dare sit there and tell me coolly youre a married man! Shaw, 
Overruled (Eng. Rev., No. 54, 185). 

i hat I .s/io;//c/ dare to remain thus alone in darkness, showed that my nerves 
were regaining a healthy tone. Cn. Bronte, Villette, Ch. XXIII, 321. 
A fellow you wouldn't dare to ask a question of. G. Eliot, Felix Holt, 

i XXI, 523, 
He would admire her hands and feet, and delight in looking at their beauty, 
and long, yet not dare, to kiss them, ib., I, Ch. XV, 2 5o. 

') S:, ■.:•. E. S., XX. 


I should like to sec the man who would dan to insult me in Ilfracombe's 
presence Floe. Marryat, A Bankrupt Heart, II, 62 l 
May I dare to present my two comrades? \\ 1 be Rough Road, 

( h, XIII, I 
I shall not dare show my bead, ["hack., Pend., I, ( b. I, 15. 
Young men of the present day who Bnd their greatest pleasure in associating 
with women whom they would not dare introduce to their mothers and sisters, 
are apt to become rather dumb when they Bnd themselves m respectable ci 
pan\ Flor. Marryat, A Bankrupt Heart, I, S3. T. 
Perhaps their more fettered brethren would then dare sfep outside the suggestions 

■ the Inspectorate. Ninet lent. No. 392, 687. 
Who will dare question the tradition or Shakespeare's deeply religious cast 

thought towards the end of his life. Jvnis WALTER, Shak. - line Life (Lit. 

World, 1891, 3e) 
iii. I shall not dan openly to say so. Temwj Thurston, Traffic, V, Ch. Ill, 2 
iv. The mother . . . seemed only thus to dan gaze in the face of her exceeding 

joy Mrs. Craik, John Hal., Ch XXXIX,' 422. 
**(This) stimulated Joe to dare to stay out half an hour longer on Saturdays 

than at other times. Dick., Great Expect., l.h. X, 94. 

29. After daring, whether as a gerund or a present participle, the 
infinitive does not, apparently, tolerate the absence of to. 

i. Without dating to seem to understand them. Scott, Fort, of Nigel, 286. ') 
ii. I got down after the lady who was like a haystack: not daring to stir, until 
her basket was removed. Dick., C op., Ch. V, 36b. 

He had gone to the Savoy, not daring to show his face at the familiar Stur= 
rocks's. W. J. Locke, The Rough Road, Ch. VII, 74. 

30. The past participle dared, although usually governing an infini- 
tive with to, is occasionally found with a bare infinitive. 

i. Look what Orestes has dared to send me. Kikgsley, Hyp., Ch. IV. 18 
They had not dared to meddle with me. Blackmore, I.orna Doone, < h. XI.I, 

He was nnt the kind oi man whom a servant would e\ er havt dared to expi 
any sympathy with. Sarah Grand, The Heavenly Twins, I, 85. 
.Mrs. Hood has not dand to hint at the truth A 1 ife's Morn., 

< h. XV, 224 
ii. l*WO months ago I should have scouted as mad or drunk the man who had 
dared tell me the like. Ki in. KlPL., I he Phantom Kickshaw, l) . 
How I wish [lfracombe had been at home to protect me from your cowardly 
sentence. You would not have dared utter it. had he been standing b\ ! 
Marryat, A Bankrupt Heart, I, 43. I 

Hugh was not the only one she would have dared tell her story, ib., II, 21. 
Who had dared up^et his darling I, t h. II 

Doggie would no more haw dared address him in terms of familiarity, than he 
would have dared slap the Brigadier-General on the back \V. J. I.o< ki , The 
Rough Road, Ch. XXII! 

The whole mob of Paris would have turned on us for having arraigned him, 
for having dared lay hands upon his ,aere.l per- on. E$AJ I w i 1 1 repay, 

') Swaen. E. S., XX, 275. 


31. Obs. In passing attention is drawn to the fact to dare seems to admit 
of being construed with a gerund or a noun of action. The following 
are the only instances that have come to hand, these constructions being, 
apparently, very rare. 

i. Burke had decided to keep himself in hand until the time should come when 
he should dare risking a declaration in form. Bar. v. Hutten, Pam, IV, 
Ch. I, 158. 
ii. Deronda dared no movement. G. Eliot, Dan. Der., Ill, VII, Ch. LI, 121. 

32. To is mostly absent before the infinitive standing after had 
better, had as soon, had need and similar locutions, in which 
had is a preterite conditional, although often understood as a 
present or preterite indicative. For discussion of other aspects 
of these phrases see Ch. II, 27; also Stof., Taalst., VIII, 216 ff; 
Jespersen, Prog, in Lang., § 180; Fitzedward Hall, Americ. 
Journ. of Phil., Vol. II, No. 7; Storm, Eng. Phil. 2 , 708; 
Murray, s. v. have, 22; and especially v. d. Gaaf, Transition 
from the Impersonal to the Personal Construction in 
Mid. Eng.; id., The Origin of would rather and some of 
its analogues, E. S., XLV, 381 ff. 

Had better. Instances of the infinitive standing with to appear to be rare. 

i. By the Lord, if ever I come up with him, he had better be in Greenland, that's 
all! Smol., Rod. Rand., Ch. Ill, 19. 

You had better tell me. Reade, It is never too late to mend, I, Ch. VI, 65. 
ii. If any man is of that humour, he had better to cut himself up, . . . before he 
meets me again. Kingsley, Westw. Ho! Ch. I, 4a. 

He had better not to speak to me, unless he is in love with gaol and gallows, 
ib., Ch. VII, 52b. 

Note. With / had better compare the practically equivalent I should 
do better, which regularly takes to before the following infinitive. 

I was standing looking at this house and wondering whether I shouldn't do 
better to go right back home there and then. A. Bennett, The Great Ad- 
venture, I, 1, (19). 

were better. Rare in Late Modern English. The construction with 
the bare infinitive seems at all times to have been the normal one. 

i. Poor lady she were better love a dream. Shak., Twelfth Night, II, 2, 27. 
You were better speak first, id., As you like it, IV, 1, 73. 
After your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while 
you live, id., Haml., II, 2, 549. 

Thou wert better dally with a lioness than with Llirabeth. Scott, Kenilworth. 
Were we not better ... send him on to the court? id., Mon., Ch. XVI, 114. 
ii. I were better to be married of him than of another. Siiak., As you like it, 
III, 3, 85. 

I were better to be eaten to death with a rust than to be scoured to nothing 
with perpetual motion, id., Henry, IV, B, I, 2, 245. 


You were better to go down, and sec after poor Lucy Kingsley, Westw 
Hoi Ch. XXVII, 2( - 

Note. On the analogy, perhaps, of / (you, etc.) were better, the 
infinitive sometimes stands without to after (// were) better. Instances 
are especially met with in verse, the omission of fo being required In 
the metre. 

i Wert it not better sleep and wake DO m OTT, Mon., ( h XVII, 195. 

* Better be with the dead, | Whom we. to gain our peace, have sent to peace 
Than on the torture oi the mind to lie | In restless ecstasy Shak., Macb., 
Ill, 2, 20. 

Better have none Than plural faith which is too much by one id., Two 
Gent, V, 4, M. 

Better due// in the midst of alarms Than reign in this horrible place. Cover-in, 
Alex. Selk., I. 

ii. Better to wear out than to rust out. Proverb. 

Better to be anxious for others than only for thyself. Kingsley, Hyp., 
Ch. XI, 56b. 

ad best. Distinctly uncommon and now, apparently, vulgar. Not 
in Shakespeare. No instances with the prepositional infinitive have 
come to hand. 

I had best lose no time in getting to my post. Sher., Duenna, I, 1, (MO). 
Id best go and talk to the hermit. Tiiack., Van. Fair, I, Ch. VI, 57. 
Id best, if you please, inspect the premisis, and will think you to allow your 
voung man to show me the pantry and kitching. id., A Little Dinner at 
Timmins's, Ch. v., (32 5). (think vulgar for thank.) 

were best. Now distinctly rare. Shakespeare seems to use the two 
constructions indifferently. 

i. You were best stick her. Sii\k., Two Gent., I, 1, 108. 
Thou wert best look tot. id, As you like it, I, 1, 154. 

ii Your ladyship were best to have some guard about you. id. Twelfth Night. 
III. 4, 13. 

Vou were best to call them generally, man bv man, according to the scrip 
id, -Mids., I, 2, 2. 

We're the Squire 5 tenants here, and we're best to keep the right side of him. 
Rich. Bagot, Darneley Place. I. Ch. II. 25. I 

Note. In Shakespeare we also find instances of (it were) best -f- bare 
infinitive, the omission of to being required by the metre. 

Best first go see your lodging Twelfth Night, III, 3, 20. 

This butchers eur is venom = mouth'd, and I | Have not the power to mu::le 

him: therefore be •si Not wake him in his slumber Henrv VIII, I, 1, 121. 

Observe also the absence of to in: 

It is best ! Put finger in the eye. an she knew why laming of t he- 
Shrew, 1, 1, 78. 

had liefer (or liever). Apparently not in SHAKESPEARE, though much 
earlier instances are given by Murray, s. v. lief, A, 1, d. Instances 


with a prepositional infinitive have not been found. The phrase is 
now distinctly archaic and literary, had rather and had sooner ordinarily 
taking its place. 

I had liefer twenty years | Skip to the broken music of my brains j Than any 
broken music thou canst make. Ten., Last Tourn., 257. 

Far liever by his dear hand had I die | Than that my lord should suffer loss 
or shame, id., Ger. and En., 927. 

had rather. The construction with the bare infinitive is now prac* 
tically the only one. In Early Modern English the infinitive with to 
seems to have been less unusual. Murray cites two instances. Shake* 
speare's practice does not materially differ from the present, there being 
only one instance of a prepositional infinitive in his works. 

i. I'd rather have been shot myself. Mrs. Wood, Orv. Col., Ch. Ill, 44. 
ii. I had rather to adopt a child than get it. Siiak., Othello, I, 5, 191. 
I had much rather to do it than say it. Carl Orrery, St. Let., II, 311.') 

had sooner. Of comparatively recent date: not in Shakespeare. 
In colloquial English more frequent than had rather. No instances 
with the prepositional infinitive have come to hand. 

I'd sooner cut my tongue out. Shir., Riv., I, 2. 

I'd sooner kill a man than a dog any day. Dick., Barn. Rudge, Ch. XXI, 82a. 

I'd sooner stay in prison all my life. Anstey, Tinted Venus, 171. 

had as good. Not in Shakespeare, but frequent enough in writers 
of the eighteenth century. Now somewhat unusual. Only instances 
with the bare infinitive have come to hand. 

Well, I see one had as good go to law without a witness, as break a jest 

without a laughter on one's side. Wycii., Country Wife, I, 1. 

You had as good come along with me to the jubilee now. Farquhar, Const. 

Couple, V, 3, (152). 

You had as good make a point of first giving away yourself. Coins., Goods 

nat. Man, II. 

I perceive . . . that none of you have a mind to be married, and I think we 

had as good go back again, id., Vic, Ch. XXXII, (4N 1 -)). 

He had as good mind his own business. f);< k., Bleak House, Ch. LVII, 477. 

had as lief (or lieve). Now archaic and literary, had as soon 
being its ordinary substitute. Apparently the phrase is regularly con* 
strued with the bare infinitive. 

I had as lief take her dowry with this condition. Shak., Taming of the 

Shrew, I, 1, 135. 

I'd as here let it alone. SiihR., Riv., V, 3. 

I'd as lieve stand. Dick., Chuz, Ch. XIII, 118a. 

had as soon. Of comparatively recent date: not in Shakespeare. 
Apparently construed only with the bare infinitive. 

I'd as soon undertake to keep Portocarero honest. Vanbrugh, False Friend, 

II, 1. 

') Murray, s. v. rather, II, 9, d. 


had as well. Not in ShakespeaR] and altogether rather unusual. 
Apparently regularly construed with the hare infinitive. 

You had as well come to the window. Scott, Mob., XIV, 16. 

had need. Formed on the analogy of had better (rather, etc.) Need 
is now adverbial in grammatical function, hut originally it was a noun, 
being used as such with the indicative of to have from the earliest 
periods, and followed by a final infinitive with to. The construction 
without to, however, appears already in Middle English, Murray's 
earliest instance being drawn from the Paston Letters (1461). In 
Present English both the bare and the prepositional infinitive are met 
with, the latter less frequently than the former. See also Stoffel, 
Taalstudie, VIII, 230. 

i. Thou hadst need send for more money. Siiak., Twelfth N i g h t , II, 3, 199. 
Fred had need be careful. G. EuoT, Mid., VIII, Ch. l.XXX, M4. 
He'd need haw a big fortune that marries her. id., Felix Holt, 1, Ch. XXII, 

I had need have you always to find fault with me and teach me. id., Mill, 
VI, Ch. VII, 383. 

1 hadn't need keep y'out id. Adam Bede, I, Ch. XIV, 124. 
1 had need be patient with him. .Miss Bkadijon, Lady Audley's Secret, 
II, Ch. XIII, 268. T. 
ii. But if thou art chi;f of such a clan, | And art the son of such a man, | And 
ever comest to thy command, | Our wardens had need to keep good order. Scott, 
Lay. Ill, XX. 

The man who reviews his own life . . . had need to have been a good man 
indeed, if he would be spared the sharp consciousness of many talents ne= 
glected. Dick., Cop., Ch. XLII, 501b. (This may be the usual practice with 
the perfect infinitive.) 

If the bad=tempered man wants to apologise, he had need to do it on a large 
public scale. G. Eliot, Theophr. Such, Only "Lemper. 
My driver wis profuse with his apologies, as, indeed, he had need to be. 
Aunt Jane at the Seaside, Ch. I. 

N'ote. «) Had need in a similar meaning is also met with after 
weak there. 

Nan suggested there was something besides ancestry to be reckoned with. 
"There had need be", .Miss Janet retorted Una L. SlLBERRAO, Success, 
Ch. II, 33. 

I It will be observed that the substantival function, which originally 
attached to need in this phrase, is still distinctly discernible when an 
infinitive with to follows. This substantival function is unquestionable, 
when need is connected with the indicative of the verb to have. 

"What need have I to say more!" — "You haven't need to say so much." 

Dick.. Cop., Ch. XXXIX, 27Ha. 

By God! tis he who has need to prepare for death. Ikankf. Mookf, The 

Jessamy Bride, Ch. XIX, 165. 

"I am sorry for myself" — "You have need 'o be. BERNARD < tfES, I he Pot 

of Basil, Ch. Ill, 35. 


1 he bells of a city church have need to be loud. Temple Thurston, City of 
Beaut. Nons., I, Ch. XVI, 123. 

Being a noun, need may be preceded by an adnominal modifier. Thus 
frequently by no. 

i. Thou wrist ,i pretty fellow when thou hadst no need to cave for frowning. 
Shak , Lear, I, 4, 211. 

Tom had no need to direct that appalling look towards his friend. Dick., 
Chuz., Ch. XXXVI, 287a. 

It is a private affair, which you /i,jc/ no need to speak of unless you thought 
proper Thack., Sam. Titm., Ch. XII, 155. 

I had no need to read "The Laocoon" again. Westm. Gaz., No. 8467, 6a. 
ii. Mary's making him a black silk case to hold his bands, but I told her she'd 
more need wash em for him. G. Eliot, Scenes, II, Ch. Ill, 205. (Note 
the < urious absence of to before the infinitive.) 

y) Had need is also found construed with a noun. Of this construction 
no Late Modern English instances have been found. 

But Beauty, like the fair Hesperian tree | Laden with blooming gold, had need 
the guard j Of dragon watch with unenchanted eye, | To save her blossoms, 
and defend her fruit | from the rash hand of bold Incontinence, Milton, 
Comus, 394. 
Here he had need | All circumspection, id., Par. Lost, II, 415. 

In the following quotation the noun * construction is found together 
with the ordinary construction with a bare infinitive: 

I had need have it well roasted and good sauce to it, if I pay so dear. Mak- 
lovce, Doct. Faust., I, 4, 12. 

33., The verbs to come, to go and to help are sometimes construed 
with a bare infinitive. In Modern English this construction 
appears to be practically confined to the infinitive of these verbs, 
only the imperative of to go being occasionally found with the 
non^prepositional infinitive also. It is even doubtful if the verb 
after the imperative of to go is not in some instances to be 
apprehended as an imperative as well. No other interpretation 
is, of course, possible if the two verbs are separated by the 
comma. For discussion and illustration of the above com* 
binations see also Abbot, Shak. Gram. ', § 349; Matzn., Eng. 
(iram. : ', Ill, 15; Ellinger, E. S m XXIV; id., Verm. Beitr., 
§ 79 ff; Onions, Adv. Eng. Synt., § 165; Storm, Eng. Phil. 2 , 
939; Einenkel, Streifz., 238. 

I he above verbs are now mostly followed by the prepositional 
infinitive, sometimes varying with gerund * constructions. Fre* 
quently also, especially in colloquial English, the two succesive 
verbs are, by way of hendiadys, connected co-ordinately by 


and. lor detailed discussion and illustration of the various 

possible constructions the student is reterred to mv Gram, ol 

Late Mod. Eng.: 

as regards to come see Ch. I, 11; 70, Obs. II; Ch. X, 5, C; 

Ch. XVIII, 12; 24, Obs. II; Ch. XX, 15, Obs. [V; 

as regards to go see Ch. X, 5, b; Ch. XVIII, 24, Obs. II; 

Ch. XIX. 45; 63, Obs. I and III; 

as regards to help see Ch. XIX, IS, c; 34. 

Compare also my paper on Hendiadys in Neophi lologus, 

II, HI and IV. 

34. a) After to come the bare infinitive has become obsolete. 

Murray (s. v. come, 3, e) mentions no later instance than 

one dated 1647. Einenkel, (Hist. Synt., § 4, ij) gives 

an instance from Vanbrugh. 

We'll come dress you straight. Siiak.. Merry Wives, IN', 2, 84. 

The Hyrcanian deserts and the vasty wilds | Of wide Arabia arc as thorough; 

fares now | For princes to come view fair Portia, id., Merch., II, 7, 45- 

b) To go is found with the bare infinitive in the latest English, 
but, except for dialects, only archaically. Compare Murray, 
s. v. go, 32, a; Abbot, Shak. Gram., § 349. See also 
Participles, 6, Obs. VIII. 

i. /'// go seek the King. Siiak., Ham!., II, I, 101. 

I'll go amuse my aunt with the old pretence of a violent passion for 

my cousin. Goldsmith, 1 he Stoops. 

He went straight from here purposing to go see his uncle. Mrs. Gask., 

.Mary Barton. Ch. XXIII, 24-). 

Let Mary go fold Will, ib., Ch. XXV, 265. 

/'// go seek him. Bar. Or< ZY, I will rep a v (Stories .1 iul sketches 

Note the rather frequent colloquial go hang, as in: 

As for women she let them go hang. \V. J. I.ckki, T he Glory of 
Clem. Wing, Ch. II, 16. 

The ordinary girl would have n>ld a living experiment like me fo go hang 
long before this. id.. The Rough Road, ( h. XXI. 269. 
The reconstruction of the Ministry may go hang. II. Lond News. 
ii. Go work today in my vineyard, Bible, Matth., XXI, 2s 
Go, tell him I am here. Smir., Riv, II. 1. ril^) 
Go see who it is! Dick., Chuz., Ch, Xl.YI, 358a. 

c) The use of the bare infinitive after to help is pronounced 
to be now dialectal or vulgar by Mcrray (s. v. help, 5, a), 
but it is by no means unfrequent in style which is innocent 
of vulgarity. 


Hannah contemptuously forbore to make her come in and help clear away, 

Mrs. Ward, Da v. Grieve, I, 37. 

He has lately got a niece to stay with him and help look after the children. 

id., Delia Blanchflo wer, II, Ch. XVI, 136. 

And you help do all the rooms? Galsworthy, The Silver Box, I, 39. T. 

We want you to help decide this question. T. P.'s Weekly, No. 472, 663a. 

They (sc. the Young Turks) can go to the Army and invite it to help save 

the sacred city. Sat. Rev, (Westm. Gaz., No. 6135, 16c). 

It would seem to be the patriotic duty of all to help make perfect the 

scheme. Westm. Gar., No. 4945, 1 c. 

Thus even after other forms than the infinitive, the con? 

struction without to is occasionally met with. 

They helped place the scenery. Williamson, LordLoveland, Ch.XXXI!, 287 
She had helped concoct her grandson's journey to Middelburg. Mart. Bovten, 
I will maintain, I, Ch. X, 105. » 

Note, a) According to Kmisinga (Crit. Contrib. to Eng. Synt., I, 
English Studies, II, No. 8) to help may, in dialects, coalesce with 
the following infinitive into a kind of compound, so that the in= 
flexional ending is attached to the infinitive instead of to help, e.g.: 
I help loaded the cart. 

p Also in the construction in which to help is divided from the 
infinitive by a (pro)noun, to is frequently enough absent in style 
which can hardly be suspected of vulgarity. According to Onions 
(Adv. Eng. Synt., § 165) the dropping of to is especially current 
in American English, and "has, no doubt, been furthered by the 
regular construction with hear, feel, etc." Also rhythmical con- 
siderations may not unfrequently have operated towards the sups 
pression of to. 

The time will come when thou shalt wish for me | To help thee curse that 

poisonous bunch=backed toad. Shak., Rich. Ill, I, 5, 246. 

If those you seek, | It were a journey like the path to Heav'n, ] To help 

you find them. Milton, Com us, 503. 

Help me lift the little sofa near the tire. Dick., Domb. Ch. VI, 55. 

I am going to help them get the bucket out of the captain's well. Hardy, 

Return of the Native, III, Ch. Ill, 222. 

I think I know some one who would be only too happy to be allowed 

to help you build it. Fior. Marryat, Open Sesame, I, 34. 

h'aversham came down to help him show his cases. Mrs. Ward, The 

Mating of I.ydia, I, Ch. V, 109. 

Now you shall help me lay them (sc. the fern fronds) upon her. John 

Oxenham, Greatsheart Gillian, Ch. I, 12. 

(Captain Truman says he will come and help me put up curtains, Dolf 

Wyllarde, The Story of Eden, I, Ch. I, 27. 

You must help us make our nests. Bradby, Dick, Ch. IX, 98. 

Rosamond I'll help you find 'em (sc. the children). Galsw., Beyond, IV, 

Ch. XII, 437. 

He can stay and help Dick tidy up. Williamson, Lord Loveland, 

Ch. XXVIII, 247. 


Also after other forms than the infinitive the construction without 
to is occasionally met with. 

l' Gordon was helping Black Dick put thm^ to rights, ib , Ch. XXVIII, 24<> 
Mrs. Hrithnkj helped him pack a bay. Weixs, .Mr. Britling, II. Ch. III. 
§ 9, 286 

Practice after Verbs governing an Accusative -f- Infinitive or an allied 


35. After verbs which express a perceiving or discovering the in; 

finitive almost regularly stands without to; excepted is only the 

verb to be, which in this connection regularly takes to. For 

illustration, which, for the rest, is easily accessible see Ch. XVIII, 

31. Here we may confine ourselves to giving some instances 

of the comparatively rare construction of to see -f- (pro)noun + 

to be. Observe that in this connection to see is used in the 

meaning of to find, denoting a mental as opposed to a physical 


I see it to be so. Buntan, Pilg. Prog. I, 10. 

It was a resoUe, which had become a habit, that she would never quarrel with 

this man — never tell him what she saw him to be. G. Eliot, Fel. Holt, I, 

Ch. IX, 172. 

She was truly a high=minded person of that order who always do what they see 

to be right. Meredith, Ord. of Rich. Few, Ch. XLII, 422. 

The next person I came across was a dapper little man in a beautiful wig, whom 

I saw to be a barber on his rounds. Stevenson, Kidnapped, Ch. II, (196 

William Morris in his Sagas, like Homer in his Iliad, has so drawn human life 

that we see it to be greater than we knew. Eng. Rev., No. 75, 533. 

What is there to show to=day that Parliament is the normal executive organ for 

an advanced republic? Do we see it to be so in the United States, or in France? 

Fred. Harrison, On Society, Lect. Ill, 64. 

36. Obs. I. To is sometimes found before the infinitive of other verbs than 

to be, where, in many cases, it apparently appears for the sake 
of the metre or rhythm. Compare Abbot, Shak. Gram. 8 , § 349 ; 
Franz, Shak. Gram. 1 , § 650 f . ; Matzn., Eng. Gram. J , III. 14. 

I had rather hear you to Solicit that Than music from the spheres. 

Sii\k., Twelfth Night, III, 1, 120. 

Methinks I feel this youth's perfections With an invisible and subtle 

stealth | To creep in at mine eves, ib., I, 5, 2 

The multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed 

to be whole, the lame to walk and the blind to sec. Bible, Math, 

XV, 51. 

But I perceive thy mortal sight to fail. Milton, Par. Lost, XII, 8. 

These eyes Whic'i have not seen the sun to rise Foi years BYRON, 

Pris. of Chi I., II. 

The duke observing his eye to brighten a little, said [etc.]. Lamb, Tales, 

Meas. for Meas., 247. T. 


I've never heard any one to touch you. Wcstm. Gaz., No. 8455, 5 b. 
(Observe that fo hear = fo be told, and fo fouc/i — to equal.) 

In the following quotation the suppression of to would improve 
the rhythm: 

I generally observe such men fo retain a certain freshness. Dick., Cop., 
Ch. II, 7a. 

II. After to find and to know in its modified meaning of to observe 
(Ch. XVIII, 34, Obs. V) to is not seldom met with, apparently 
more or less irrespective of considerations of metre or rhythm. So 
far as appears from the available evidence, the bare infinitive is 
the rule after to find, while the case is reversed after to know. The 
prepositional infinitive seems to be fixed when it is passive. 

to find. i. I find the whole neighbourhood begin to grow very in= 

quisitive after my name and character. Spect., No. 131. 

I did not find those rash actions answer. Sher., Critic, I, 2. 

I found her prefer a plain dish to a ragout. Jane Austen, Pride and 

Prej,, Ch. VIII, 38. 

You'll find the lock go the better for a little oil. Dick., C hu=., 

Ch. XXXIX, 310 b. 

I find the Kind's English express my meaning better. C. Eliot, Fel. 

Holt, I, Ch. XVII, 285. 

He never cut a chimney-sweep if he knew him. And he found it pay. 

Kingsliv, Alton Locke, Ch. VI, 71. 

ii The next annoyance that we had was a very bad smell which we found 
to proceed from the drains. Markvat, Olla Podrida. 
I found this plan to tell through life. Mrs. Ckaik, A Hero, 8. 

to know. i. I have known him walk with Tiny Tim on his shoulder 
very fast indeed. Dick., Christm, Car. 5 , IV, 98. 

These marriages between people of sech different rank and age . . . are 
sad things. I have known them produce a great deal of unhappiness. 
Thack., fend., I, Ch. VII, 85. 

I have known her take it (sc. green tea) in ignorance many a time without 
such effects. Mrs. Cask., Cranf., Ch. XIII, 240. 

I have known a cat get up and walk out of the room on a remark 
derogatory to her species being made by a visitor. Jerome, I die Thoughts. 
For these seventeen years he had never known her make an intimate 
friend. Mrs. Warm, The Case of Rich. Meyn, I, Ch. VI, 117. 
I've known the plainest of women become quite good-looking. V. J 
Locke, The Rough Road, Ch. XXII, 274. 

I have known two hundred words about the acting at the end of an 
article take longer to write than the twelve hundred words that precede 
them. Westm. Gaz., No. 5597, 6b. 
ii. : ' : I had never known him to pass the gardemgate before. Dick., Cop., 
Ch. X, 68 b. 

I never knew the Duke to fail. Thack., Lend., 1, Ch. XXXII, 343. 
She thought his diamond shirt pin (which she had not known him to 
wear before) the prettiest ornament ever seen, id., Van. Fair, I, 
XIII, 127. 


1 have known them to do th.u sort of thing before Ku>. Hag., Mees. 
Will, Ch. I, 11. 

1 have known her to show impatience when George's name was mentioned 
Wait. Besant, St Kath., t h. I. 
' I have seen men suffering the most excruciating agony, I have known 
them to be cut, to be lost utterly from the vulgarity of their wives' 

connections. Thack., Pen J . I, Ch VII, 85. 

I have known her to be thrown into fainting tits by the king's taxes 

... Cop, Ch. XI, 79b 
I have known an imposition of Two thousand Imes of the Poet Virgil 
to be set in punishment Payn, Glow Worm Tales, II, M, 20b. 

III. Also in the rare case that the infinitive is a perfect, i. e. indicates 
completed action, it seems to be regularly preceded by to. 

.Mr. Lorry observed a great change to have come over the doctor. Dun.') 
Dickens often gets verbose, rings the changes on a point which he 
to have caught his readers, Fr. HARRISON. 1 ) 

IV Mention may here also be made of the collocation to hear say 
(tell, or some other verb or a similar import) followed by an 
objective statement or by o/(in vulgar language on) + (pro)noun, 
in which the infinitive regularly stands without to. The phrase 
is a concealed accusative -f- infinitive, the accusative (people per= 
sons or somebody) being suppressed because of its indefiniteness. 
It used to be common enough, but is now felt to be dialectal or 
colloquial. See Murray, s. v. to hear, 3, c; and compare Ch. Ill, 24, 
Obs. II and Ch. XVIII, 9, Obs. I. 

. I heard say your lordship was sick. Shak., llenrv IV, B. I, 2, 118. 
I have heard say that people may be guessed at by the behaviour of 
their servants. Farquhar, The Beaux' Stratagem, III, 3, (399) 
I heard tell she has a power of monev. Lytton, My Novel, II, XI 
Ch. XVIII, 337. 
li. -1 In this house, in the presence of Mr. and Mrs. Crummies, . . are we 
to hear talk of nooses- Dick., Nich. Nick., Ch. XXV, loSb. 
Did you ever heat tell of mermaids? id., Barn. Kudge. I h. I, 6a. 
I've heard tell of dumb dawgs. Herb. Jenkins, B indie, Ch. Y, 72 
I've heerd tell on him. Miss BRADDON, Lady A u d 1 e v s Secret, II, 
Ch. XIV, 286. I 

37. The bare infinitive is also the rule after to have. Tor illustration 
see also Ch. XVIII, 31, b. 

Had I a doren sons, ... I had rather had eleven dit nohlv for their country 

than one voluptuously surfeit out of action. Sm\k., Coriol , I, 3, 26. 

It is my wish to have my son make some tigure in the world. GOLOSH., Vic. 

Also the verb to be in this connection mostly seems to stand 
without to. The construction is, however, an unusual one. 

I would have you be on your guard. v I'ride and Prej., 

Ch. XXVI, 145. 

; Wendt, Synt. des heut. Eng., I, 43. 


I would not have it be so. Lytton, My Novel, II, XI, Ch. VII, 276. 

It really grieves me to have you be so naughty. Mrs. Beecher=Sto\ve, Uncle 

Tom's Cab., XXV, 239.') 

I Can't bear to have people be sorry. Bar. v. Huttom, Pam, Ch. X, 56. 

38. Obs. I. The prepositional infinitive seems to be more common than the 
bare infinitive after would have. Shakespeare appears to use the 
two constructions indifferently. Compare Franz, Shak. Gram. 2 , 
§ 651. Of special frequency is the combination. / would have 
you (to) know. 

i. They would not have you to stir forth to=day. Shak., Jul. Css., 
II, 2, 38. 

I'd have you to knoiv, sir, that I am as knowing as the stars, and as 
secret as the night. Congreve, Love for Love, V, 2, (296). 
I'd have you to know, the poor man, whosoe'er he is, will have little 
cause to thank you. Wycheri.ey, Gent. Dane. Mast., I, 1, (139). 
Though I was obliged ... to undervalue myself by marrying a poor 
man, yet I would have you to know I have a spirit above all them 
things. Field., Tom. Jones, V, Ch. IX, 54a. 

I suppose you'd have me to learn to cut capers. Miss Burney, 
Evelina, XVI, 57. T. 

I'd have you to know that I don't care a penny, madam, for your 
paltry money. Thack., Virg., Ch. XXXV, 368. 

I would have him to understand that her decision is final, ib., 
Ch. XCII, 991. 

I wouldn't have a Queen to cut jokes on her throne, id.., Newc, 
I, Chr. XXV, 278. 

Mr. Rochester would have me to come in. Ch. Bronte, Jane Eyre, 
Ch. XVI, 191. 

What would you have a man to do? Kingsley, Hereward. 
Ch. XIV, 60a. 

What would you have me to do? Reade, The Cloister and the 
Hearth, Ch. Ill, 22. 

(He) would have him to stay supper, ib., Ch. VI, 33. 
An idiot is a human being, sir, and has an immortal soul, I'd have 
you to know. Mar. Crawf., Kath. Land., I, Ch. VI, 103. 
ii I would not have my father | See me in talk with her. Shak., 
Merch., II, 3, 9. 

I'd have you knmv I was never afraid of losing my mistress in earnest. 
Wycheriey, Gent. Dane. Mast., I, 1, (137). 

I have passions, | And love thee still; therefore, would have thee 
think | The world is all a scene of deep deceit. G. Lino, Fatal 
Curiosity, I, 1. 

I would not have you provoke me to the degree of falling foul. Scott, 
Ken., Ch. I, 17. 

I would not have you think all I said of him, even now, was strict 
gospel, ib., Ch, I, 21. 

Would you have your father stop here, useless and despised? Buchanan, 
That Winter Night, Ch. II, 22. 
What would you have me do? Sweet, N. E. Gr., § 2316. 

1 ) Murray, s. v. grieve, 5. 


II. The infinitive in the following quotations is best understood .is 
a kind or adverbial adjunct or purpose, so that to could not 
possibly be dispensed with: 

You ought to . . . have your black nurse to tuck you up in bed. Thai k., 
Virg . < h LXXVI, 802. 

They had him to dine with them at the inn. id. Henry Esm., I. 
Ch. III. 22 (= to (finn 

You will not have him to dine with you.-' (1 la [or, Fcl. Holt, I, 

Ch. VII, 195. 

I can have aunt to live with me. I . '• I TO, Kefl. of Ambrosine, 

III, Ch. I\', --07. 

Whv do you have disreputable people to stay with you? Mrs. Ward, 

The Case of Rich. Meyn., II, Ch. VII, 150. 

Thus also when the infinitive is passive, as in: 

I haven't my fortune to be settled, or my wedding dresses to be nude. 
Dick., Chimes, I, 25. 

39. After the verbs which express a judging, knowing, remembering 
or declaring, and such as express a revealing or showing, the 
infinitive, mostly to be, regularly takes to. For illustration see 
Ch. XVIII, 31, c and d. 


40. The verbs of causing, viz. to cause, to do, to make and to 
occasion show different practice. For illustration see also Ch. 
XVIII, 31, e. 

a) To cause and to occasion are regularly, or all but regularly, 
followed by an infinitive with to. 

He caused one of his attendants to mount his own led horse. S 
Ivanhoe, Ch. II. 22. 

He caused the troops to march onwards. Mason, Fng. Gram., § 397, N 
She asked Matilda what occasioned Manfred to take Theodore for a spectre 
Hob Waipole, Castle of Otranto, Ch. IV, 193 

Instances of the alternative practice are not, however, entirely 

Setting spurs to his horse, he caused him make a demivolte across the path 

s >rr. Ivanhoe. Ch II, 17 

The liberality of the age has caused it be very commonly admitted that a 

Deist may be truly religious. J. S. Mm, Autob., 26.') 

She caused men make a silver image fair Of me unhappv \V MORRIS, 

Earthly Par., Doom of King Acris. 7Sa. (Evidently due to the 

requirements of the metre; substitution of made (or caused being objectionable 

for reasons of euphony.) 

b) Also the verb to do when archaically construed with an 
accusative -}- infinitive, requires to. 

') FrjN van Dra.nt, Rhythm in K n g. Prose. Ang. Forsch., 76. 


We ... do thee to know that [etc]. Scon, Fair Maid, Ch. XXXI, 523. 
For metrical reasons to is suppressed in: 

And as she tied, her mantle she did fall. Siiak., Mids., V, 1, 14. 

c) After to make, on the other hand, the bare infinitive is the 
ordinary construction. 

It might he pleasant to them to remember upon Christmas=Day, who made 
lame beggars walk and blind men see. Dick., Christm. Car. 5 , Ill, 67. 
She made the oldest=established families in the country . . know their distance. 
Tiiack., Virg., Ch. LXXII, 775. 

It is not easy to make a simile go on all fours. Mac, Pilg. Prog., (136a). 
lie made me laugh. Man., Eng. Gram 81 ., § 195. 

The prepositional infinitive, however, is not uncommon. 
Apart from metrical or rhythmical considerations, it is not 
unfrequently preferred, «) when the accusative is a lengthy 
sequence of words, /?) when the accusative is represented 
by a relative pronoun or otherwise leaves its ordinary place 
and stands after the infinitive, y) when the infinitive is 
preceded and modified by so. Sometimes there is no apparent 
reason for the use of to. For detailed discussion and illu? 
stration see especially Fijn van Draat, Rhythm in Eng. 
Prose, § 46 ff, Ang. Forsch., No. 79. 

i :: We will make our leisures to attend on yours. Shak., Merch., I, 1, 68. 
Down ran the wine into the road, I Most piteous to be seen, i Which 
made his horse's Hanks to smoke | As they had basted been. Cowper, 
John Gilpin, XXXII. 

For — Heaven forgive that thought! the while | Which made me both 
to weep and smile — | I sometimes deem'd that it might be | My brother's 
soul come down to me. Byron, Pris. of Chil., X. 

The wild justice of this idea made the blood to bubble in his ears. 
Hah Caine, Manxman, VI, Ch. IX, 180b. 

We cannot relume the extinguished lamp of reason. We cannot make the 
deaf to hear, We cannot make the dumb to speak. Graph., ISS 1 -*, 346. 

Interesting from a rhythmical point of view is the alternate use 
of the bare and the prepositional infinitive in: 

Money makes the old wife trot, and makes the mare to go. Prov. 1 ) 
Amelia's love makes the burning sand grow green beneath him, and the 
stunted shrubs to blossom. Carlyie, Life of Schiller, I, 50. T. 
ii. To be tapped on the shoulder by a French cook was a piece of familiarity 
which made the blood of the Pendennises to boil up in the veins of 
their descendant. Tiiack., Fend., I, Ch. XXVII, 282. 
When I see youth going to capsize on virtue, it makes my blood, as a 
Christian man, to curdle. Walt. Besant, All Sorts and Cond. of 
Men, Ch. XXXVIII, 260. 

• Mi k \-, , s. v. make. 


evening gun from the Duke of York's bastion proclaimed the death 
of another day with .1 [oud report, winch made the branches in the tree 
above us fo shake and tremble, id., By Celia's Arbour, I. Ch. I, 10. 
More than any other of his arguments, Mr Hyndman's preference lor 
the conditions in the St.ites will make any one who knows India fo 
smile. Westm. Gaz., No 8052, 16 a. 

in lie got .1 premium of four or live hundred pounds with each young 

gent, \\h>-m he made to slave tor ten hours .id.iv TiiuK., Sam. 1 itm., 

1 h. II. 1. 

How they pile the poor little craft .. with luxuries only clo\ 

with pleasures that bore, with empty show that, like the criminal's iron 

crown of yore, makes to bleed and swoon the aching head that wears it 

JEROME, Three Men in a Boat, Ch. Ill, 29. 

An occasional trespasser in welboidcred domains makes to glow the more 

brightly the sense of proprietorship. E. F. BrNSON, Arundel, Ch. Ill 

iv. Jack the Guardsman and La Tulipe of the Royal Bretagne are face to 
face, and striving to knock each other's brain.s out. Bon! It is then 
nature to — like the bears and the lions — and we will not say Heaven, 
but some Power or other has made them so to Jo. Thack., Virg., 
Ch. I. XIV, 685. 

v. Your innocent smiles made me to bear up against my misfortunes. I. ami:, 
Tales, Temp., 14. T. 

What made you to swear to fatal vows? Thack., Eng. Hum., I, 50. T. 
But the circumstance which, more than any other, has made Ireland to 
differ from Scottland, remains to be noticed. Mac, Hist., I, Ch. I, 66. 

Note. The bare infinitive is fixed in the expression mnke believe, 
in which the accusative is understood. 

He denied it utterly, made believe at first to think they were accusing 
him in joke. Mrs Wood, Orv. Col. 

41. After verbs expressing a desiring or a (dis)liking the prepo* 

sitional infinitive is now obligatory. For illustration see Ch. 

XVIII, 31, f, and g. In Early Modern English we sometimes 

find to suppressed, evidently from considerations of metre. 

Compare Matzn., Eng. Gram.-, Ill, 15. 

I would wish you reconcile the lords. Marlowe, Edw. II, I, 4. 

Sir, I desire you do me right and justice; | And to bestow youi pity on me. 

Shak., Henry VIII, II. 4, 13. (Observe the varied practice) 

42. This seems to be the most suitable place to discuss the use of 
to after verbs of allowing, commanding or requesting, which 
are often followed by a person;object infinitive, a construction 
which bears a close resemblance to the accusative infinitive. 
The bulk of these verbs normally stand with the prepositional 
infinitive. For illustration see Ch. XVIII, 31, h; 3S, Obs. I. 
a) After to bid practice is variable In verse the choice naturally 

depends on the metre. In prose the bare infinitive is 


distinctly the rule, especially after the monosyllabic forms 
of the verb, the absence of to mostly making for an improved 
rhythmical movement of the sentence. The prepositional 
infinitive, however, appears to be the normal construction 
when the (pro)noun forming the personsobject is not imme* 
diately followed by the infinitive. For instances of the 
prepositional infinitive see also Ellinger, Verm. Beitr., 8. 

i.* I would stay ■ ■ ■ if you bid me stay — or go if you bid me ^o. 

Walt. Besant, All Sorts and Cond. of Men, Ch. XIV, 115. 
** Bid Rodolph of Saxony approach! Lytton, Rienzi, V, Ch. I, 192. 

Bid your anger against me cease! ib., 195. 
*** She would bid the girls hold up their heads. Goldsmith, Vic, Ch. I, (238). 

I would bid you stay because I like your society. Wait. Besant, All 

Sorts and Cond. of Men, Ch. XIV, 115. 
" : The faithful Tinker, having wakened her bedfellow, and bid her prepare 

for departure, unbarred and unbolted the great halUdoor. Tiiack., Van. 

Fair, I, Ch. VII, 72. 

He had bid them be brother and sister. Meredith, Ord. of Rich. Fev., 

Ch. I, 3. 

They would have bid their countrymen draw their own inferences as to 

the true intentions of his Majesty. Times. 
***** He gives me a stroke on the head with his cane; bids me carry that 

to my master. Sher., Riv. II, 1. 
***** The good woman bade me remain in the apartments we occupied. Thack., 

Sam. Titm., Ch. XII, 164. 
***** It was Traddles; whom Mr. Mell instantly discomfited by bidding him 

hold his tongue. Dick., Cop., Ch. VII, 48b. 

(She) shook me by the hand, and bidding me be of good cheer, set 

off with Gus in a coach, to pay a visit to those persons. Thack., Sam 

Titm., Ch. XII, 162. 
ii.* He bid his horses to be prepared. Lamb, Tales, Lear, 155. T. 
** We are now poor, my fondlings, and wisdom bids us to conform to our 

humble situation. Goldsmith, Vic, Ch. Ill, (246). 

He bids his followers to be prepared for all contingencies. Manch. 

Guard, V, No. 15, 282c 
*** He bade the conductor to put him down at the gate of the Upper 

Temple. Thack., Pend., I, Ch. XXVIII, 503. 

The old butler entering at the summons, Arthur bade him to serve that 

refreshment, ib., I, Ch. XVI, 167. 

His lordship . . . bade me to come and watch over him. id., Virg. 

Ch. XXXV, 365. 

We cannot tell what her (sc Stella's) style was, or what sort were the 

little letters which the Doctor placed there and bade to appear from under 

his pillow of a morning, id., Eng. Hum., I, 46. T. 

He bade me to think well ere I asked him to my house. Annie Besant 

Autobiography, 177. 
iii* And hereby (I) take farewell, bidding all gents who peruse this, ro b 

cautious of their money, if they have it. Tiiack., Sam. Titm., Ch. XIII, 184. 


Have l not bidden you never to look upon the face o£ woman ? KlNGSLEY, 
II vp., Ch I. 3a. 

Leaving Wooden Sword in the passage and bidding him not to ^tir from 
there till I saw him again, 1 went on to the gun>room. 1m Lawless, 
A * . > l o n e 1 o I the Empire, Ch. VIII. 

I cannot bid the bright stir again sparkle in the sphere it has shot from. 
Kenilw., i h IV. 44. 

b) After to let the prepositional infinitive is very rare. A:. 
Schmioi (s. v. let) registers none in Shakespeare. Murray 
gives four instances, the latest of which is dated 167S. For 
discussion see also Konrad Meier, E. S., XXXIII, 327. 

i. Would you let any woman you love be contaminated by their company ? 
Thack., Pend., II, Ch. XXIV, 264, 

ii. These visions will not let them sleep, will not let their tongues to cease 
from bitterness. Galsw., The Country House, III, Ch. VII, 270. 
(Note the varied practice.) 

c) When other verbs of this description are construed with a 
bare infinitive, this is, evidently, done from considerations 
of metre in the majority of cases. This applies to all the 
instances given by Matzn. (Eng. Gram.-, Ill, 10), and also 
to the following: 

So loving to my mother j That he might not beteem the winds of heaven 

Visit her face too roughly. Shak., Haml., I, 2, 142. 

Your betters have endured me say my mind, id., Taming of the Shrew. 

IV. 5. 75. 

Tell him, so please him, come unto this place, id., Jul. Caes., Ill, 1, 140. 

But first I beg you ', Thank me for Frederick's visit. Bridges, Hum. of the 

Court, II, 1, 1116. 

A few prose instances have come to hand. 

A host of servants stood around, and begged Heaven bless her ladyship. 

Thaoc., Virg.. Ch. XX, 202. 

And now, my Lord Savelli, for my question, which I pray you listen to. 

Lytton, Rienzi, V, Ch. I, 191. 

Elementary humanity forbade him leave his lame old godmother one moment 

unattended A • wu Eg. Castle, The Lost Iphigenia, (. h. I, 24. 

43. a) The infinitive is normally preceded by to after the passive voice 
of any verb; accordingly also after all the verbs which may 
be construed with an accusative infinitive. For illustration 
see Ch. XVIII, 42. i'he verb to let does not make an 
exception. The regular use of to may have been furthered 
b)y the metrical and rhythmical advantage it offers. 

There's a letter for you, sir, ... if your name be Horatio, as I am let to knew 

it is. Shak., Haml., IV, 6, //. 

We shall be let to go home quietly. Tn\< k., Van. Lair, I, I h. XXXI!, 547. 


b) To, however, seems to be regularly absent in the collocations 
(to be) made believe, let go, let fall, let drop, heard drop and, 
perhaps, a few others, in which the two verbs form a kind 
of unit. Compare Wendt, Synt. des heut. Eng., I, 47; 
Konrad Meier, E. S., XXXIII, 327. 

i. Part of the fraud and deception of the slops trade consists in the mode 
in which the public are made believe that the men working for such 
establishments earn more money than they do. Kingsley , Cheap 
Clothes and Nasty, (73). 
ii." The lucky insects are let go their way. Hor. Hutchinson (Westm. 
Gaz., No. 6228, 4c). 
' : Drop = small platform or trap=door on the gallows on which the cons 
demned stands with the halter round his neck, and which is let fall 
under his feet. Murray, s. v. drop, 17. 

This (sc. felled oak) could be let fall in a moment. Blackmore, Lorna 
Doone, Ch. XXXVII, 219. 

The general sentiment was that the incident should be let drop. G. Eliot, 
Dan. Der., I, Ch. VI, 88. 

The smallest pin could be heard drop. Lit. World, 1888, 9 Nov. 381. 
Not only a pin, even a dead mosquito, might have been heard drop. 
Dor. Gerard, Exotic Martha, Ch. XVIII, 217. 

c) For the rest exceptions from the general rule are very rare. 

After tea I am made sing some fal la la of a ditty. Eaton Stannard Barrett, 
The Heroine, Let. I. 

Practice after the Conjunctions but, as and than. 

44. The bare infinitive is regularly used after but and its synonyms 
except and save, 

a) after the phrases / cannot but, I cannot choose but, and 
/ cannot help but, and their variations for tense, number 
and person. The two last phrases are now more or less 
archaic or, at least, unusual in ordinary Standard English. 
For illustration of / cannot but ~f- infinitive see also Ch. I, 
35, Obs. IV. 

i. I cannot but admire his courage. Mason, Eng. Gram. 34 , § 194. 
ii. Yond same cloud cannot choose but fall by pailfuls. Siiak., Temp., 
II, 2, 23. 

He cannot choose but break, id., Merch., Ill, I, 72c). 
I believe that she could not choose but adore him with all her heart. 
Dick., Cop., Ch. VII, 46a. 

He could not choose but love her. Meredith. Ord. of Rich. Fev., 
Ch. XXV, 186. 

Thus also in: You shall not choose but drink before you go. Shak. , 
Taming of the Shrew V, 1, 12. 


iii We could not help but love each other Il\ . I \:s .. i he Christian, 
1\". i h. XV, 282 
lie could not help but see them HUGH V. leremv, Ch. XI, 2. 

A cynic... couldn't help but mention that List Saturday 10 000 people 
paid E r to see a polo game at Hurlingham. Graph., N 

7 70.1 

b) when preceded by a construction with the hare infinitive 
do as part of a complex predicate. 

i. What must Amelia do. but remind her brother of a promise made last 

Easter holidays? Ihack., Van. Fair, I, Ch. IV, 2s. 

What does Fanny do, but fall into a deep melancholy? id., Virg 

Ch. LXXXIV, 894. 

Pressed by such arguments as these what could a weak old man do but 

yield 1 Trol., Barch. Tow., Ch. LII, 456. 
ii. I can't do anything hardly, except write. Dick., Bleak House, Ch. IV.28. 

There are women . . . who can't do a blessed thing except write letters. 

W. J. Locke, Stella Maris. Ch. I, 9. 

I'll do anything else to show my gratitude except marry the daughter 

WnxiAMSON, Lord Loveland, Ch. XIII, 121. 

c) when preceded by certain negative collocations with to do, 
such as he does nothing, he never does anything, there is 
nothing to be done. 

i.* He does nothing but laugh. Mason, Eng. Gram. 34 , ^ 117. 

He had done nothing but talk to his tutor. Thack., Pend. I. Ch. VII, 80. 

You have done nothing but flirt with him. Mkn. Wood, East Lvnne, 

I, 181. T. 

If I had done nothing else in my life but bring them together, I should 

not have lived in vain. Lvtton, Night and Morn., 192. T. 

L'nless I had taken the life of Trabb's boy on that occasion, I really 

do not even now see what I could have done save endure. Dick., Great 

Expect., Ch. XXX, 293. 
ii You never did anything in your life except make yourself agreeable. 

Mar. Crawf., Kath. Laud., I. Ch. I. 11. T. 
iii. There is apparently nothing to be done for the present except 

opinion to bear upon the more obstinate of the masters. Westm. G a z., 
53, Ic. 

Thus also in: He does everything but attend to his own bus:; 

Mason, Eng. Gram. 34 , ^ 535. (= Ik does not attend to his own 

busine^- ) 

45. a) For the rest the prepositional infinitive is used after but 
practically to the exclusion of the infinitive without to. Note- 
that one and the same idea underlies the idioms illustrated 
by the first four groups of the following quotations: 

i. There was something extremely provoking in this obstinately pacific 
system; it left Brom no alternative but to draw upon the funds of rustic 
waggery in his disposition. Wash. Irv., Sketch -Bk., XXXII, 357. 



He had no alternative but to state, boldly and distinctly, that he had 

been required to eat cold meat. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XXXVII, 344. 
ii. She had . . . nothing for it but to suffer Joe fo give her hand a gentle 

squeere. id., Barn. Rudge, Ch. XXII, 85b. 

There was nothing for it but fo pay. Thack., Pend., I, Ch. XX, 210. 

There was nothing for it but to submit. Mrs. Ward, The Mating of 

Lydia, I, Ch. II, 31. 
iii. I have no choice but to accept the fact. Kid. Hag., Mees. Will, 

Ch. XXI, 225. 

M. van Ghent had no choice but to follow. Marj. Bow in, I will 

maintain, I, Ch. XI, 130. 
iv. What was left to them but to drink and get merry, or to drink and get 

angry? G. Eliot, Sil. Mam, I, Ch. Ill, 25. 
v. What did she want in life, but fo see the lad prosper? Thack., Pend., 

I, Ch. II, 81. 

I want nothing but to lie here till I die. Walt. Besant, St. Kath., Ch. II. 
vi. We had no duties provided for us save to eat and sleep. Fro' m 

Oceana, Ch. II, 31. 
vii. There remains no more but fo thank you for your courteous attention. 

Murray, s. v. but. 
viii. What could poor Jane expect but to be married for her money r 1 Agn. 

and Eg. Castle, Diamond cut Paste, II, Ch. II, 134. 

The following is the only exception that has come to hand: 

You have no choice but marry Doris now. W.C.Smith, Kildrostan, 77. ) 

b) Infinitives which are distinctly final in function are, naturally, 
preceded by to. 

He hath never spoken a word, save to ask for his food and his reckoning 
Scott, Kenilw., Ch. I, 18. 

The landlord apparently is to do nothing except to sell such land as he 
desires to part with. Westm. Gar., No. 6353, 2a. 

When the notion of purpose is vague, the necessity of 

placing to before the infinitive is not felt. Thus variable 

practice may be observed in the construction instanced in 

the following quotations: 

i. They have nothing to do but enjoy themselves. Murray, s. v. enjoy, 2, b. 
ii. I am sure we in England had nothing to do but fo fight the battle out. 

Thack., Virg., Ch. LXXXIV, 801. 

Do you think we have nothing to do but fo eat your fish? Cox. Doyif, 

Refugees, 305. T. 

46. a) The infinitive standing after the conjunction as is normally 
preceded by to. For illustration see also Ch. XVIII, 28, 
a, c and d. 

I .v^ked the carrier to be so good as fo reach me my pocket handkerchief 
again. Din,., Cop., Ch. V, 32a. 

') Murray, s. v. but, 4, c. 


b) Dickens has a trick of occasionally dropping to after as as 
a correlative of so. For the rest this practice seems to be 
exceedingly rare in Late Modern English. 

i. If you'll be *o g mc vour kevs, mv dear, I!l attend to all 

this sort of thing in future. D:i k , C .b. 

If he was to make so bold as - I should slap his face, 

ib.. Ch VIII, 54b. 

May I tell her as you doesn't see no hurt int. and a* vou 11 be so kind 
as take charge on t. Mas'r Davy? ib.. Ch. LV, 3^1 b. 
Would you be so kind as like me? id., Domb., Ch XII. 111. 
You chose to be so obliging a- (sc. the money) me. G. E 

Sil. Marn., I. Ch. Ill, 24. 

47. a) After than the infinitive normally stands without to, when 
it corresponds to another infinitive without to in the same 
grammatical function. 

I had rather wink than look on thee. Shak., Two Gent, V, 2, 14. 

I will drink a round with your guests with all my heart, rather than be 

termed a mar=feast. Scorr, Kenilw., Ch. I. 1 

For my part I would rather be damned with Plato and Lord Bacon, than 

go to Heaven with Paley and .Malthus. Shelley, Pref. to Prom. Unbound. 

I had rather err with Plato than be right with Horace, id., Essays, II, 12 

A man might do worse than make happy two of the best creatures in the 

world. Thack., Pend., I, Ch. XXVII, 2S9. 

Ilfracombe would die sooner than part from me, and I would die a thousand 

deaths sooner than part from him. Flor. Mark vat. A Bankrupt Heart, 

I. 44. T. 

I think you can't do better than go. Reade, It is never too late to 

mend, I, Ch. VI. 63. T. 

lie would die sooner than yield. S^eft, X. E. Gr, ^ 2322. 

Thus also when than depends on ether or otherwise. 

i. How could I have done other than accept him? Tkoi , Framl. Par-. 
Ch XXXV. 33 

I could not do other than ask .Miss Roberts to my house, ib. Ch. XI.I 
It seems to us extremely unlikely that the Peers will do other than reject 
the Government's scheme. Westm. Gar., No. 546b, 2a. 

ii. We could not do otherwise than obey his orders. Norris, My Friend 
Jim, Ch. VIII. 55. 

Instances of the alternative practice, sometimes due to the 

requirements of metre or rhythm, seem to occur chiefly in 

the older writers. 

Brutus had rather be a villager | Than to repute himself a son of Rome Under 
these hard conditions as this time | Is like to lay upon us. Shak., Jul. 
Css., I, 2, 172 

\urrav, s. v. rather, II, 9. d. 


By heaven, I had rather coin my heart, | And drop my blood for drachmas, 

than to wring | From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash | By any 

indirection, ib., IV, 5, 72. 

I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the 

tents of wickedness. Bible, Psalm, LXXXIV, 10. 

Nothing could touch me nearer than to see that generous worthy gentleman 

afflicted. Farquhar, Recr. Of., II, 2. (269). 

I cannot do better than to try to give you an idea of our modern industrial 

system. Bellamy, Looking Backward, 53. 

She tried to reconcile herself to the idea that she might do worse than to 

accept for a while the harsh shelter of the work = house. G. Moore, Esth. 

Waters, Ch. XVIII, 115. 

b) When the corresponding infinitive is preceded by to, usage 

is variable, the tendency being, perhaps, rather to use the 

prepositional than the bare infinitive. 

i. I would advise you to employ an honest and respectable house in London, 
rather than to have recourse to the Oxbridge tradesmen. Thack., Fend., 
I, Ch. XVIII, 186. 

It is better to exceed a little with a friend, than to observe the strictest 
regimen, and eat alone. Lytton, My Novel, II, XI, Ch. Ill, 265. 
It appears to me to be preferable to retain the classic names for these 
feet rather than to try and invent new titles for them. Tom Hood, Ver-- 
sification, 24. 

Better to be a lonely woman all your life than to marry a man whom 
you have never loved. Walt. Besant, Bell of St. Paul's, II, Ch. XIX, 
107. T. 
ii. Better to dwell on the sand under His law than fly to the rock of human 
trust. Scott, Abbot, Ch. X, 92. 

He chose rather to encounter the utmost fury of the storm abroad, than 
stay under the same roof with these ungrateful daughters. Lamb, Tales, 
Lear, 158. 

I thought it better to take the anthem myself than give it to a junior, 
who would be sure to make a mull of it. Mrs. Wooij, The Chan; 
nings, Ch. I, 4. 

Sooner than yield he resolved to die. Sweet, N. E. Gr.. § 2522. 
Competition is bound to increase rather than diminish. West. Gaz., 
No. 6311, lb. 

Even when the infinitive expresses some notion of purpose 
or allied adverbial relation, usage is divided. 

i. Since you are in the humour to talk rather than to sleep. Bellamy, Looking 

Backward, 53. 

I have nothing more to do than to declare our procedings terminated. Times, 
ii. The coachman had strict orders to turn into the dirtiest side=street rather 

than risk meeting a funeral. Dor. Gerard, The Eternal Woman, Ch. II. 

Do you think I had nothing better to do than count Paleface and 

Redskin, 191. 

He is determined to resign sooner than yield. A then, No. 4465, 528 b. 

Competition is bound to increase rather than diminish. Westm. Gaz., 

No. 6511, 2b. 

5 5 

48. a) When there i^ not a corresponding infinitive in the same 

grammatical function, the infinitive after than normally stands 

without to, 

and good living had disabled him from doing more than ride t* 
the hound* thrown off and make one .it the hunting dinner Wash. Irv., 
ketch. Bk., X, 98. 

Rather than disturb him she went for a light-box and his agar* case to his 

bedroom. Ihaoc, Pend., I. v h. XVIII, 185. 

You were raised from a stock that vast the dust of England from their feet 

rather than bow down to Baal. Con. Dome, Refugees, 2^2. T. 

Rather than remain in the house John retired to the stable. OtOKER, Three 


The Norse bonders . . . left Norway rather than submit to the overlordship 

Harold Harfager. Notes and Queries. 
General Boulanger took to flight rather than face the personal risk of trial. 

One day he was dared by a companion to drink a glass of beer, and rather 
than be called a coward he did so. Punch, No. 36 74, 413b. 

Thus also after else. 

Since her interview with the signora she had done little else than think about 
.Mr. Arabin. Trol., Barch. Tow., Ch. XLVIII. 427. 

b) The prepositional infinitive, however, seems to be all but 
regularly employed after: 
1) further than in the sense of except for, beyond. 

The English Duke took little part in that vast siege of Lille, further than 
fo cot'er the besieging lines. Thack., Henry Esmond, II, Ch. XIV. 275. 
You have nothing to do with the master of Thorntield further than to 
receive the salary he gives you for teaching his protegee. Ch. Bronte, 
Jane Eyre, Ch XVII, 196. 

2 i fo know better than. For illustration see also Ch. XVIII, 
7, Note; 28, e; Ch. XXX, 7 b. 

i I wonder old Mr. Willet, having been a married man himself, doesn't 
know better than to conduct himself as he docs. Dn k , Barn. Rudge, 
Ch. XIII, 53b. 

Thev might know better than to leave their clocks so very lank and 
unprotected, surely, id.. Crick., I, 4. 

I hope you know better than to tempt her to disobey me. R; \de, 
It is never too late to mend, I, Ch. I, 18. 

They would know a great deal better than to insult a sister of mine. 
Biack.hore, Lorna Doone, Ch. XXX, 177. 

Sir Roland knew better than to stop. Blacks Sir Walter Scott 
Read., Abbot- 50. 

You ought to know better than to encourage a child to make herself 
ridiculous. Sn.\\r., The Philanderer, II, (III). 

When you grow a little older . . . you will know better than to believe 
all the gossip you hear Mrs \V\rd, The Case of Rich. Meyn, 
II. Ch. VII, HO. 


ii. "There's one of your tradesmen.'' — "It isn't. They know better than 
come to my front door. A. Bennett, The GreatAd vent., Ill, 1, (103). 

Thus, probably, also after the unusual to learn better than. 

If I let you shriek your abominable little throat hoarse, you'll learn better 
than to torment your uncle. John Habberton, Helen's Babies, 39. 

c) Also when the preceding comparative modifies a noun, than 
seems to require the prepositional infinitive. 

I hope you have more honour than to quit the service, and she more prudence 
than to follow the camp. Farquhar, Recr. Of., II, 1, (267). 

Practice in Elliptical Sentences. 

49. To is often absent before the infinitive in elliptical sentences 
which have the value of emotional questions. 

a) The omission seems to be regular when the subject is under* 
stood, whether the sentence corresponds to a question of 
the first or the second kind (Ch. VII, 3). 

i. For shame, Tony, you a man, and behave so! Goldsmith, She Stoops, 

II, (193). 

"How?" cried I, ''relinquish the cause of truth?" id., Vic. 

Not let Miss Sharp dine at table! Thack., Van. Fair, I, Ch. XL 108. 

fie! it is wicked to talk so. Compare a poor coarse=favoured girl like 
me with the Queen of Heaven? Reade, The Cloist. and the Hearth, 
Ch. II, 18. 

What, not know me! Sweet, N. E. Gr., § 2321. 
ii. Why, then, wait? Thack., Pend., I, Ch. I, 14. 

Why not go there myself? Sweet, N. E. Gr., § 232. 

b) Also when the subject is expressed, the bare infinitive appears 
to be more common than the prepositional infinitive. 

i. What, I! I love! I sue! I seek a wife! Shak., Love's Labour's Lost, 

III, 191. 

"Now, madam, will you please to send your maid to fetch it?" — "I 
fetch it! the devil fetch me if I do!" Farquhar, Recr. Of., IV, 3, (320). 
Thou put a jape upon me, thou sodden=brained gull? Scott, Kenilw., 
Ch. IV, 43. 

1 think the worse of him? Dick., Bleak House, Ch. XVII, 144. 
My nephew marry a tragedy queen! Thack., Pend., I, Ch. I, 1 5. 

A passenger take the whole cabin and not pay? Gracious mercy, are you 
a fool, Captain Franks? id., Virg., Ch. I, 3. 
ii. And I to sigh for her! to watch for her! | To pray for her! Shak., Love's 
Labour's Lost, III, 202. 

Psavv! this fellow here to interrupt us! Goldsmith, She Stoops. 
You to he low-spirited. You! Dick., Bleak House, Ch. XVII, 145. 
1 to marry before my brother, and leave him with none to take care of 
him! Biack.hore, Lorn a Doone, Ch, XXX, 178. 


Note. In elliptical questions to is not dispensed 
with, any more than in full questions. Thus it could not possible 
be omitted in sudi a sentence as: 

What to do at Vetitnor? which may he understood to be short for 
What are visitors to do at W'ntnor? or What are visitors recommended 
to do at IVnfnor.'' etc. 

What to do with our boys? Graph., N\ 2691, 773 

50. The prepositional infinitive is regularly used in elliptical sens 
tences which have the value of a complex sentence consisting 
of a subordinate statement and a head;sentence, the latter being 
understood or represented by a simple word group of an emo* 
tional description. The subject is mostly understood, but may 
also be expressed. 

i Wisdom! to leave his wife, to leave his babes, | His mansion and his titles in 
a place | From whence himself does fly? Shak., Macb., IV, 2, 6 (approxi 
mately equivalent to: Is it an act of wisdom that he should leave his 
wife, etc.?). 

O, may Heaven's everlasting fury light upon him and his! Thus to rob me 
of my child! Goldsmith, Vic, Ch. XVII, (341) (approximately equivalent 
to : What a heinous offence was it that he should thus rob me of my 

Oh God! to hear the insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among 
his hungry brothers in the dust! Dick., Christm. Car., Ill, 62 
To think of your turning book=hunter! Lytton, Caxt., XVII, Ch. I, 450 
(He) had an objection to dramatic entertainments, and he had never yet seen 
a play. But Shakespeare! — but to go with Mrs. Pendennis in her carriage. 
and to sit a whole night by her side! — he could not resist the idea of so 
much pleasure. ThaCK., Pend., I, Ch. VI, 69. 

Oh, for shame, Hans! — to speak in that way of Mr. Deronda! G. Euor, 
Dan. Der., Ill, VI, Ch. XLVII, 52 

O mother, mother, to think, that you should have turned against us! Mar. 
Crawt., Kath. band.. I. Ch. VII, 137. 

The PhEASANI : fancy reducing me to the level of a rabbit, just as if I were 
ground vermin! The Fox: And to talk about exterminating me] We-, tm. 
Ga=., No. 7395, 4. 

ii. That dear father, who was once so kind, so warm - hearted, so ready to help 
cither man or beast in distress, to murder! Mks. Cask., Mary Barton, 

Ch. XXII. : 

Of especial interest are infinitives of the above description which 
express what is the subject of an idle wish. 

Oh! but to breathe the breath Of the cowslip and the primrose sweet! I »■ 

Hood, The Song of the shirt, IX 

Oh! to be in England Now that April's there! Brownin* Ii.'tne Thoughts 

from Abroad, I 

Oh! to have been there! Adv Eng. Synt., § 4-2 


51. In elliptical sentences that are co-ordinately related with a pre? 
ceding sentence with a finite verb, the infinitive may stand with 
or without to. 

i. Most sencelesse man he, that himselfe doth hate | To love another. Lo then for 
thine ayd | Here take thy lovers token on thy pate. So they to fight. Spenser, 
Faery Queene, I, VI, XLVII. (The Clar. Press editor changes to into two.) 
Five days we do allot thee, for provision | To shield thee from diseases of the 
world; j And on the sixth to hirn thy hated back i Upon our kingdom. Shak., 
Lear, I, 1, 178. 

But on this condition that she should follow him, and he not to follow her. 
Bacon, Adv. of Learn. 1 ) 

"Haven't got your Coke upon Littleton in your waistcoat=pocket, have you?" 
No, Joseph hadn't; and, him to be sitting with us of the Inner Bar ! Punch, 
1888, 10 Nov., 228a' J ) (him vulgar for he). 

ii. Men talk of your being under some special protection; nay, stare not like a 
pig that is stuck, mon, thou canst not dance in a net and they not see thee. 
Scott, Kenilw., Ch. IV, 41. 

Indeed, do not things happen under our eyes, and we not see them? Thack., 
Virg., Ch. LXI, 734. 

For discussion of the above idiom, viewed, however, from a 
different angle, see also Kellner, Hist. Outl., § 400; Stof., 
Stud., A VII, 44 ff; Dubislav, Beitr. zur hist. Synt. des 
Eng. I; Einenkel, Hist. Synt., § 4. 

In passing it may here be observed that the first and the third of the 
Mod. Eng. passages quoted by Kellner differ, in grammatical function, 
from the second (See the Note below). Moreover the quotation from 
Thackeray, Virg., IV, 3 (taken, I understand, from the Tauchnitz 
Edition) is not in harmony with the wording of Thackeray, according 
to the version of the Oxford Thackeray, edited by Saintsbury, in which 
the passage in question runs thus, "And the fellow began to roar with 
laughter, and all the girls to titter". See Ch. LXXII, page 758. 

Note. The infinitive is distinctly final in meaning and, accordingly, 
preceded by to in such elliptical constructions as* 

Ten years afterwards the caul was put up in a raffle down in our part of the 
country, to fifty members at half-crown a head, the winner to spend five 
shillings. Dick., Cop., Ch. I, 2 a. 

52. a) Infinitives stand without to when used as a kind of echo of 

a preceding infinitive, whether bare or prepositional. 

i. "Nephew!" returned the uncle, sternly, "keep Christmas in your own 
way, and let me keep it in mine." — "Keep it!" repeated Scrooge's nephew. 
"But you don't keep it." Dick., Christm. Car., I. 

ii. "But the enemy has thought fit to withdraw, I think." — " Withdraw 1 
• urns, sir, what d'ye mean by withdraw?" Farquhar, Recr. Of., IV, 2, (311). 

) Einenkei , H i s t. S v n t. , § 4 
) Stof., Stud., A, VII, § 45. 


b) A bare infinitive as a similar expression of excited feelings, 

not a mere echo, however, of an infinitive, but rather a reflex 
of the preceding statement, may be seen in: 

He was ,i terrible old fellow, was Lobbs, when his pride was injured or his 
blood was up. Swear. Such trains of oaths would come rolling and pealing 
over the way, ... that [etc.]. DlCIC, l'ickw.. Ch. XVII, LSI. 

Repetition and Non=repetition of to. 

53. To is often dispensed with before the second of two successive- 
infinitives whose grammatical functions are identical. 

a) This suppression is especially, frequent when the two infini; 
lives are connected by and and form a kind of unit, or are 
merely meant to denote different elements of one and the 
same action or state. In the first case the second infinitive 
is often, from a logical point of view, related to the first 
as object or adverbial adjunct, the connexion by and being 
the result of hendiadys. See my Treatise on this subject 
in Neophilologus, II, III and IV. 

i. Here's a lady possessing a moderate independence, who wants to board 

and lodge with a quiet, cheerful family. Dick., Chu;., Ch. XXXVI, 288a. 

The rest of the world are in a conspiracy against him, which it requires 

all his wit to baffle and turn to his own proper aggrandisement and 

profit. Lytton, My Novel, II, XI, Ch. I, 250. 

Tom told me to be sure and remember the rabbits every day, G. Kliot 

Mill, I, Ch. IV, 24. 
ii. There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes 

I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. Bible, Mark, I, 7. 

He concluded that his wisest course would be to turn and face his pursuers. 

Goldsmith, Vic, Ch. XXXI, (-! 

On Sundavs it was his duty to accompany her and carry her bible. Wash. 

Irv., Dolf Hevl. (Stof., Handl., I, 109.) 

The bare infinitive is practically regular when connected by 
and with certain verbs which in the infinitive and the im* 
perative normally require hendiadys, such as to try, to write; 
to call, to come, to go, to send. 

i. Her business here on earth is to try and get a rich husband. Tiivk, 

Newc. II, Ch. VII, 81. 

What business had she to be so ungrateful and to try and r/itr.jrr Philip 

in his thoughtful wish i<i escorting them.-' M ' k., Sylv. Low, 

Ch. Ill, 44. 

VC'hy don't you try and Jo pictures? Mrs, Ali A life Interest, 

I. Ch. II, 42. T. 
ii. That nasty Lightfoot feels it his duty to write and tell me what is in 

reserve for him. Dick., Our Mut. Friend, I, Ch. IV, 55. T 


It was settled that I was to write to my father and ask him to come 

over. Mrs. Gask., Cranf., Ch. XIV, 256. 
iii. Tell the boy to call and see me in a day or two. Morley Roberts, 

Time and Thomas Waring, Ch. VII, 70. 
iv. Here is a family, ... a quiet cheerful family who want exactly such a 

lady to come and live with them. Dick., Chuz., Ch. XXXVI, 28Sa. 

It was too far for people to come and dine with us. Marryat, GTlaPodrida. 

If he likes to come to me and beg my pardon for his rudeness, that's 

another matter. Keble Howard, One of the Family, I, Ch. Ill, 52. 
v. The child . . . preferred to go and take refuge at Pen's knee. Thack., 

Pend., I, Ch. XXXII, 344. 

He passed the door a dozen times before he had the courage to go up 

and knock. Dick., Christm. Car. 5 , V, 108. 

My father and mother want you to go and see them them for a whole 

day. Sweet, Old Chap'el. 
vi. I should like to send and get my sketches. Rudy. Kipl., The Light 

that failed, Ch. Ill, 40. 
vii. I venture to ask you to stay here, and aid me in consulting with Baron 

Levy. Lytton, My Novel, II, X, Ch. XXV, 245. 

I asked you to stay and aid us by your counsel, ib., 245. 

If one of you gentlemen will stay and dine with Mr. Higginbotham, it 

will greatly assist the effect of his medicine, ib., II., XI, Ch. IV, 263. 

b) Suppression of to is also the rule when, although distinctly 

two actions are thought of, the second infinitive is the head? 

word of another infinitive with to. 

The main object of practical grammar is to give — or rather, help to give — 
a mastery of foreign languages either living or dead. Sweet, N. E. Gr., § 9. 
Passengers are particularly cautioned not to open the door, nor attempt to 
alight from the carriages till the train is at rest at the platform. Notice 
in London Trains. 

c) Sometimes the non?repetition of to is, clearly, due to a desire 

of terseness or rhythm, or to both. 

"My friends!" said Mr. Pecksniff in reply, "my duty is to build, not speak; 

to act, not talk; to deal with marble, stone and brick, not language". Dick., 

Chuz., Ch. XXXV, 281b. 

I do not, just now, like to think or speak about it. ib., Ch. XXVI, 287a. 

It's dreadful to see death and not weep. Sarah Grand, Our manifold 

Nature, 109. T. 

You should hear my poor patient talk of it (sc. the Brent) ... — you would 

not know whether to laugh or cry. Lytton, My Novel, II, XI, Ch. IV, 266. 

The requirements of metre are, evidently, responsible for the 

suppression of to in: 

They love to see the flaming forge j And hear the bellows roar. Longf., Vil. 

d) In a great many cases no reason can be given for the sup? 
pression of to beyond economy of language, which often 


becomes manifest in the rejection of what S\\ 1 1 r (\. E. Gr., 
§ ^S) calls form* words, words, that is, which do not 
convey any idea by themselves. It is only natural that 
anything like consistency, or uniformity of practice, in the 
repetition of to where it is not needed is far to seek even 
with one and the same writer. Thus it would be difficult 
to account for the varied practice observed in the following 
quotations taken from a few consecutive pages of one and 
the same composition, in which, however, the cases of notu 
repetition outnumber those of repetition. 

i. She was not prepared to betray the one, and entrap the other. Lytton, 

My Novel, II, X, Ch. XX, 242. 

He had only time to rise and withdraw to the window, ib. 

All we can do today is to remove my sister, and let the execution proceed 

ib., 244. 

Shame on me if I could be mean enough to boast of love, and enforce 

a suit, at such a moment, ib., 247 
ii. He wrote a brief line to Levy, charging him quietly to dismiss the execution, 

and to come to Frank's rooms with the necessary deeds, ib., 247 

I have lived to feel the truth of your words, and to bless the lesson, ib.. 

II. XI. Ch. II, 256. 

I have so much to ask you, and to talk about, ib., 258. 

Now to gain time, and to baffle the usurer, ib., II, XI, Ch. VI, 272 

54. For the rest it may be observed that, svhen none of the above 
considerations make themselves felt, there is a tendency to 
repeat to. 

He looked earnestly in my face, and began to fancy a resemblance to his sister. 

and to think I might be her child. Mary Ann Lamb, The Sailor Uncle. 2 

(The Worlds Clas.) 

Frank, however, did not pause to notice her countenance — to hear her dignified 

salutation. Lytton, My Novel, II. X, Ch. XXV, 241. 

Many a time he (sc. the Prince Consort) must have felt inclined to renounce it 

(sc. the scheme of the Great Exhibition), or at least to regret that he had ever 

taken it up. Mc. Carthy, Short. Hist., Ch. IX. 108. 

Thus naturally in the case of the second infinitive standing in 
adversative relation to the first. 

I came not to upbraid, but to serve and to free you. Scott, Kenilw., Ch. IV, 45 
He told Dolf never to despair, but to throw physic to the dogs. Wash. Irv., 
Dolf Heyl. (Stoi Handl., I, 1 

55. a) In a succession of three or more infinitives in identical 

grammatical function to is mostly repeated before each of 
them. The following quotation may be considered to re; 
present normal practice : 


The Tories must come into office free to raise taxation, to defend our own 
markets, and to meet the great Dominions in their demand for reciprocal 
trade. Eng. Rev., No. 32, 624. 

b) It is only natural that for rhetorical reasons this practice is 

not seldom deviated from. 

To thrust on his boots — change his dressing=robe for a frock-coat — snatch 
at his hat, gloves and cane — break from Spendquick — descend the stairs 
— a flight at a leap — gain the street — throw himself into a cabriolet; all 
this was done before his astounded visitor could even recover his breath 
enough to ask "What's the matter?" Lytton, My Novel, II, X, Ch. XXIV, 


Introductory Observations. 

56. Like the gerund and the present participle, the infinitive is 
capable of expressing the distinctions of tense and voice. 

57. The infinitive shows the distinction of tense only when its 
timessphere differs from that of the predication with which it 
is connected. 

a) In the case of its time^sphere being anterior to that of the 

latter, this is now done by the auxiliary to have, mutative verbs 

using to be for this purpose in earlier stages of the language : 

Imperfect Infinitive: to give; Perfect Infinitive: to have given. 

In our island the Latin appears never to have superseded the old Gaelic 
speech. Mac, Hist., I, Ch. I. 4. T. 

It was the misfortune of my friend, however, to have embarked his property 
in large speculations. Wash. Irv., Sketch = Bk., IV, 26. 

The tense of the infinitive is not affected by a change of 
timessphere in the predication with which it is connected. 
Compare Gerund, 9, Obs. II; Participles, 3, Note /S. 
See also Tense, 12, c. 

He toils (toiled or will toil) to earn a living. 

b) The ordinary auxiliaries of the future tense, shall and will, 

having no infinitive, relative futurity is mostly left unexs 


I was afraid to sleep, even if I had been inclined. Dick., Great Expect., 
Ch. II, 20. 

And there, in daily doubt | Whether to live or die, for many a week j Hid 
from the wide world's rumour by the grove | Of poplars with their noise of 
falling showers, | And ever^tremulous aspen=leaves, he lay. Ten.. Lane, 
and El., 519. 


Note. It stands to reason that the numerous secondary expedients 
to express modified futurity, such as to be going, to be about, to be 
near, to be inad, etc., discussed in mv treatise about Tense i 
would sometimes be available to supply the want. 

The weather seems to be going to chai: 

He seemed to be about to leave the room. 

The letter seemed to be about to be dropped into the pillanbox 

About + infinitive, whether active or passive, occurs rather frequently 
as a constituent of an undeveloped clause. 

No one could have had the slightest foreboding of anything about to /u 
Mc Cartuv, Hist, oi Our Own Times, 2, 92.') 

A remnant of one (sc. a fleet) about to be put up to auction. RuSKTN, Time 
and Tide, 194.') 

The attributive use of about 4- passive infinitive seems to be very rare 

The about=to-be=releJsed prisoner tried to explain that Irish Unionists were 
loyal to England. The New Statesman, No. 95, 405b. 

58. The distinction of voice is expressed by means of the auxiliary 
to be: Imperfect Passive Infinitive: to be given; Perfect Passive 
Infinitive: to have been given. 

i. Mrs. Hood begged to be left to herself. GlSSlNC, A Li fe's Morning, Ch. V, 82 

ii Now Joe, examining this iron with a smith's eye, declared it to have been 

tiled asunder some time ago. Dick., Great Expect., Ch. XVI, 145. 

His crime was to have been born in Germany. Galsvt., Tatterdemalion, I, IV 

She was alleged to have been dismissed. II. Lond. News, No. 5859, 4- 

Tense=shifting in Infinitive constructions. 

59. Ir is a well-known fact that an Englishman is inclined to say 
/ intended to have come, but [etc.] rather than / had intended 
(= should have intended) to come, but [etc.], i. e. to express 
the notion of completed action in this combination not in the 
finite verb, where it logically belongs, but in the following 
infinitive. This remarkable tense*shifting, as it may be called, 
is to be observed in a good many similar combinations of very 
common occurrence and has, naturally, excited the interest of 
many scholars, and been the subject of not a few grammatical 
disquisitions. See Stoffel, Taalstud ie IX; Hodgson, Errors 
in the Use of English, 9S ff ; Horn, Ilerrig Archiv, C XIV, 
370; A. Schmidt, Shak. Lex., s. v. have, 1; The Kit 
English, 154 f; Matzner, Eng. Gram. 1 , Ill, 63 f; 
>hak. Gram. , § 360. 

') JfsrfKshN. .Mod. Eng. Gram, 1 


60. a) Tense^shifting of the above description is unavoidable when 
the infinitive is connected with any of certain defective verbs 
which have no past participle and, consequently, no pluperfect 
conditional, such as can, may, must, ought (or should). 

i. If I had not been so foolish as to enter into that agreement with Messrs. 
Meeson, I could have got the money by selling my new book easily 
enough. Rid. Hag., Mees. Will, Ch. IV, 38. (with which compare 
the sequel of this sentence: and I should have been able to take Jeannie 

ii. They might have been great people in the country, they preferred being 
little people in town ; they might have chosen friends among persons of 
respectability and rank, they preferred being chosen as acquaintance by 
persons of 'ton'. Lytton. 

iii. It would have been a severe pang to lose you; but it must have been. 
You would have thrown yourself out of all good society. I must have 
given you up. Jane Austen, Emma, Ch. VII, 51. T. 
But for him I must have died abroad. Dick., Chuz., Ch. XLIII, 337b. 

iv. I ought to have married; yes I should ha' married long ago. Gissing, 
A Life's Morn., Ch. IX, 137. 

Note, cc) When the present indicative must is followed by a 
perfect infinitive, there is, of course, no tensesshifting. 

The spirit must have heard him thinking. Dick., Christm. Car. doubt, served him there; but he must have had an instinct 
that it was dangerous with one so sensitive. Galsvc, Beyond, Ch. IV, 42. 

,">') In passing it may here be observed that could when followed 
by a perfect infinitive is always a preterite conditional. Such 
a sentence as Hij zei dat hij niet had kunnen komen 
cannot, therefore, be translated by *He said that he could not have 
come, the correct translation being He said that he had not been 
able to come. 

b) The same tense*shifting is regularly observed in connection 

with will, whose past participle is used only by way of 

exception, and need, which, as has been observed in 7, 

resembles, in its grammatical function, the verbs mentioned 

in a). See also 7, b, 3; 10; 11, b; and 12, c. 

He beat me then as if he would have beaten me to death. Dick., Cop., 
Ch. IV, 29b. 

Poor Betty! . . . she need not have given way to tears on the door* step. 
Galsworthy, Beyond, I, Ch. I, 1. 

c) Also the construction with the archaic or dialectal durst 
regularly exhibits tense^shifting. For the rest ordinary literary 
English has the logical construction had dared or should (or 
would^ have dared -(- imperfect infinitive, colloquial English, 
apparently, favouring daren't -\- perfect infinitive. 


i. When * aesai lived he durst not thus have moved me. Shak., Jul. Ca 

IV, 5, 58. 
ii.* Two months ago I should have scouted .is mad or drunk the man who 

had dared reH me the like. Rudy. Kin., The Phantom Kickshaw, i >. 
** Hugh was not the only one she would have dared tell her story. Flor. 

Marryat, A Bankrupt Heart, II, 21 I 
iii. You know you daren't have given the order to charge the bridge it' you 

hadnt seen us on the other side. Shaw, The Man of Destiny, (241). I 

61. Obs. I. It will have been observed that the verb used in connection with 
the perfect infinitive in the above combinations stands in the 
conditional. But, as has already been stated in my treatise about 
Mood (14, Obs. Ill), the notion of conditionality is apt to get 
obliterated in the speaker's consciousness when, as is often the 
case, the protasis of the conditional sentence is understood. As 
there is no formal difference between the preterite conditional 
and the preterite indicative, except only in the case of the verb 
to be, this leads to the conditional becoming indistinguishable 
from the indicative. The verbs ought and should have even 
practically ceased to be used as conditionals, unless followed by 
a perfect infinitive, and this applies more or less to must as well. 
II. Another point to which attention may be drawn in this connection 
is that the construction described above, like all pluperfect 
conditionals, implies non=fulHlment of what is denoted by the 
main verb of the predicate. When the predicate is negatived, 
the case is, of course, reversed, fulfilment being, in this case, 
III. Tense=shifting never takes place with most words or phrases which 
often serve as substitutes for the above verbs in some of their 
various shades of meaning, such as to be able, to be allowed, to 
be obliged, to have. 

An important exception is formed by the verb to be, which, as 
has been shown in Ch. I, 29—31, is often used to express some 
weakened form of coercion or obligation, notions which it has 
in common with must and ought. The notion of conditionality 
not making itself felt, the indicative is used instead of the con= 

At ten I had an appointment under a certain person's window, who 

was to have been looking at the moon at that moment. Tiiack., Sam. 

Titm., Ch. I, 9. 

She was to have dined with us here the day after her father's death 

GlSSlNG, A Life's Morn., Ch. XIY, 203. 

She was to have married a Member of Parliament, ib., Ch. XXV!, 345. 

The monument was to have been surmounted by an equestrian statue. 


Also when the meaning of to be is faded to the extent that it is 
a mere copula, the same tense=shifting may occasionally be ob= 


Babie performed her mistress's command with the grace which was naturally 
to have been expected. Scott, Bride of Lam., Ch. Ill, 46. (= might 
(or could) have been expected). 

62. a) In the second place tense* shifting is unavoidable in com* 

binations in which the infinitive is connected with the phrases 

mentioned in 32: / had better (best, liefer or liever, rather 

or sooner), I had as lief or lieve (as soon, as good, as well), 

I had need, I were better (best). 

Arthur had better have taken a return=ticket. Thack , Pend., II, Ch. XXXVI, 


I had as lief have heard the nighbraven. Shak., Much Ado, II, 3, <S^. 

I had almost as well never have been a child. B. Barton, Selections, 

XXVII 1 ). 

The man who reviews his own life . . . had need to have been a good man 

indeed, if he would be spared the sharp consciousness of many talents 

neglected. Dick., Cop., Ch. XLII, 301b. 

b) The same construction is regularly observed in connection 

with the more or less archaic phrase had like, shaped, on 

the analogy of had rather, etc., from was like. See Ch. II, 36, 

Obs. II. In passing it may be observed that had like + 

imperfect infinitive seems to be non-existent. 

I had like to have been picked up by a cruiser under false colours. Farquhar, 

Recruit. Offic, V, 7, (349). 

This intrigue had like to have ended in my utter destruction. Swift, Gul., 

I, (128a;. 

Poor man, poor man! It had like to ha' killed him when she died. G. Eliot, 

Scenes, II, Ch. I, 82. 

It had like to have cost the nursery; maid her place. Thack., Fitzboodle, 

l J ref., 209. 

I had like to have burst out crying. Reade, 1 he Cloister and the Hearth, 

Ch. IX, 47. 

Note. Was like + perfect infinitive seems to be very rare: the 
following is the only instance that has come to hand. 

The vivacity of this good lady, as it helped Edward out of this scrape, was 
like to have drawn him into one or two others. Scott, Wav., Ch. LXI, 152 a. 

63. The sense* shifting, which is unavoidable with the verbs that 
have no past participle, is often extended to a good many verbs 
that are in no way deficient in their conjugation, and accordingly, 
give no urgent occasion for the anomaly. In the case of 
some of them, i. e. such as express, or at least suggest, some 
movement of the human will, the adaptability to the peculiar 

') Murray, s. v. have, 22. 


construction may be due to their bearing some analogy to will. 
This, for example, applies distinctly to to intend, to mean, to want, 
to wish, to like. But it cannot be denied that the number include-* 
some others which can hardly be said to express any such 

It will be observed that the absence of the notion of condi; 
tionality in the speaker's mind mostly causes the construction 
of the periphrastic conditional with should or would to be rejected, 
the verb to like being a notable exception. Indeed a strong 
case might be made out for the preterite, as opposed to the 
pluperfect, being an indicative. 

On the whole the construction with the shifted tense appears 
to be more in favour with most writers than the alternative. 
The negative not, however, causes the latter to be preferred. 

to expect. Mr. Speaker, I expected from the former language and positive 
promises, of . . . the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to have seen the Bank paying 
in gold and silver. William Cobbett. ') 

to hope. i. I hoped to have seen him on the green to=night. Dick., Old 
Cur. Shop, Ch. XXIV, 91a. 

I hoped to have left them in perfect safety, and then to have quitted Paris, id.. 
Tale of Two Cities, III, Ch. IX, 547. 

He (sc the Duke of Mayenne) hoped to have been elected king, Webb, Note 
to Mac, Ivry. 17. 

ii. I had not hoped to see you again so soon. Sher., Riv., Ill, 2, (242) 

I had hoped to gather some traditionary anecdotes of the bard from these ancient 
chroniclers. Wash. Irv., Sketch = Bk., XXVI, 261. 

When he went away, she had hoped to see him often again; but she never did 
Miss Burnett, Little Lord. 

to intend, i. I intended only to have teased him three days and a half, and 

now I've lost him for ever. Sher., Riv., I. 2. 

For that reason I did not intend to have sent you the following sonnet. Keats, 

Let. (Times, Lit. Sup., No. 996, 97dJ. 

I intended to have written a line to you. Mrs. Cask., Life of Ch. Bronte, 299. 

ii. When Hairy Warrington was taken by those bailiffs, I had intended to tell you 
how the good Mrs. Lambert, hearing of the boy's mishap, had flown to her 
husband, and had begged, implored, .insisted, that her Martin should help him. 
Tiiack., Yirg., Ch. LI, 525. 

The amiable old gentleman . . . had intended to leave the whole to the Koyal 
Humane Society. Dick., N'ich. Nick., Ch. I, 2 a. 

I had intended to go to London art once. Wvrrs Dunton, Aylwin, Yli. 
Ch. Ill, 254. 

to like. i. I should like to have given him something. Dick.. Christm 
Car.. II. 41 

') Stof., Taalst., IX 


I should like to have been by to give Lady Clavering my arm if she had need 
of it. Thack., Pend, I, Ch. XXXVII, 397. 

I should like to have been Shakespeare's shoeblack — just to have lived in his 
house, just to have worshipped him — to have run on his errands, and seen 
that sweet serene face, id., Eng. Hum., I, 6. T. 

ii. When they were married, Pitt would have liked to take a hymeneal tour with 
his bride. Thack., Van Fair, I, Ch. XXXIV, 382. 
I should have liked to make her a little present, ib., I, Ch. XIII, 125. 
Pen, being new to the town, would have liked to listen to Mrs. Leary. id., Pend., 
I, Ch. XXVIII, 299. 
Would we have liked to live with him? id., Eng. Hum., I, b. 

to mean. i. I meant to have given you five shillings this morning for a Christmas 

box, Sam. I'll give it you this afternoon, Sam. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XXX, 269. 

I ought to have been a good son, and I think I meant to have been one. id., 

Bleak House, Ch. XXI, 182. 

There was to be a considerable bookssale at a country=house one day's journey 

from London. Mr. Prickett meant to have attended it on his own behalf. Lytton, 

My Novel, I, VII, Ch. Ill, 441. 

I meant to have sent them (sc. the flowers) to your room, but have been inter; 

rupted in my work. Beatr. Har., Ships, I, Ch. XV, 85. 

I meant to have gone away before now, but I've put it off day after day. 

Gissing, A Life's Morn., Ch. VIII, 124. 

ii. I had meant to be gay and careless, but the powerlessness of the strong man 

touched my heart to the quick. Ch. Bronte, Jane Eyre, Ch. XXXVII, 54. 

I had not meant to tell you. El. Glyn, Haley one, Ch. II. 19. 

Halcyone had not meant to tell her aunt anything about Cheiron. ib. Ch. II, 21. 

I had not meant to speak of it — but your lordship knows that all I receive 

from my living is given back to Church purposes. Mrs. Ward, The Case of 

Rich. Meyn., I, Ch. V, 107. 

She had not meant to give them all to=day, but it seemed dreadful, when she 

saw how pleased they were, to leave any out, and so the whole ninety*seven 

had their franc each. Galsvt., Tatterdemalion, I, I, 17. 

to think, i. I thought thy bride«bed to have deck'd, sweet maid, | And not to 

have strew'd thy grave. Shak., Haml., V, 1, 267. 

They showed her the weapon wherewith he thought to have acted it. Bacon, 

Apothegms, (165). 

I ne'er thought to have thanked God to see my master weep. Scott, Kenilw., 

Ch. XII, 143. 

I never thought to have seen this day. Thack., Van. Fair, I, Ch. XIV, 138. 

I never thought to have had a scamp for my son, Galsw., The Country 

House, II, Ch. XII, 206, 
ii. I had not thought to see thy face. Bible, Gen., XLVIII, 11. 

to want. i. I wanted to have seen you ever so much, but I did not like to 

trouble you. Philips, Mrs. Bouverie, 89. 
ii. Annie had wanted to take biscuits, but I was dead against it. Barry Pain, A 

Change of Role, Ch. I. 

A year before a rich man had wanted to marry her. Rid. Hag., Mr. Mees. 

Will, Ch. Ill, 28. 

Also to long and to wish, which express similar notions as to want, may 
possibly be construed with tensesshifting to the infinitive. No instances 


have, however, come to hand. The logical construction is, no doubt, 

the ordinary one. 
i. lie would have longed to give his arm to the fair Blanche. ThaCK., l'end., II, 

i h. I. 8. 
ii.° When Harry gave to Lord Castlewood those flourishing descriptions of the ma-- 

ternal estate in America, he had not wished to mislead his kinsman. Thai k., 

Virg., Ch. XVI, 158. 
** I should have wished to go to France, but must take what I can get. Galsvt., 

Saints Prog., IV, I, 354. 

64. Obs. 1. Besides the above we rind various other predicates expressing 
some form of capability, compulsion or, especially, volition liable 
to tense=shifting to the following infinitive. Any notion of con- 
ditionality is mostly absent, insomuch that, so far as appears from 
the form of the preceding finite verb, the indicative is used. In 
the following quotations the underlying notion is one resembling 
that expressed by: 

could -j- perfect infinitive: We were masters to have taken the steamer, 

instead of the diligence at Civita Vechia. Howeiis, Italian Jours 

neys, 182. 1 ) 

(It was) a glorious vision to the youth, who embraced it as a Hower of 

beauty, and read not a feature. There were curious features of colour 

in her face for him to have read. Meredith, Ord. of Rich, rev., 

eh. XV, 98. 

Those of us who feel we are clever enough to have succeeded at the 

Bar, and regret that we did not choose to pursue the fugitive prizes of 

that honourable and profitable calling [etc.] Times, Lit. Sup. 2 ) 

ought to -f" perfect infinitive: He was not slack in testifying his 

displeasure to the falconer's lad, whose duty it was to have attended 

upon it (sc. his favourite bird). Scott, Abbot, Ch. IV, 41. 

would + perfect infinitive: Lor my part, my lord, | My purpose was 

not to have seen you here; \ But meeting with Solanio by the way, j He 

did entreat me, past all saying nay, | To come with him. Siiak., 

Merch., Ill, 2, 230. 

This train he laid to have intrapped thy life. Marlowe, Jew of Malta, 

V, 4. 1 ) 

There was once a design, hinted at by Oldisworth, to have made him 

useful. Johnson. 1 ) 

The squire was inclined to have compounded matters, when lo ! on a sudden 

the wench appeared to be, as it were, at the eve of bringing forth a 

bastard. Fielding, Tom Jones, IV, Ch. X, 55b. 

I was much tempted to have broken the rascal's head. Scott, Rob Roy, 9. ) 

It was my earnest wish e'er this to have returned to London. Iiivk., 

Sam. Titm., Ch. IX, 101. 

Leslie ivas going to have answered. Mallock, The New Republic. ) 

"Were you going to have walked?" she asked presently, after a long, 

long silence. — "No", said John, "I was going to drive — with you". 

Temple Thurston, City of Beaut. Nons., Ch. XV, 121. 

') Stof., Taalst., IX. 

") Krlisinga, The Student's Monthly, II, No. 25. 


II. Tense=shifting may also be observed in constructions with a sub; 
ordinate statement, especially one standing after to think. 

to expect: I expected, when the Right Hon. gentleman rose, that he 

would have stated what the intentions of the Government are. Westm. Ga:. 

to hope: I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife. Shak., 

Ha ml., V, 1, 266. 

to think: I thought that all things had been savage here, id., As you 

like it, II, 2, 107. 

I did not think you had been read in these matters. Congrevh, Love 

for Love; III, 4, (255). 

I thought you would have been pleased. Dick., Domb., Ch. Ill, 23. 

I never thought Harry Warrington would have joined against us. Thack., 

Virg., Ch. XCII, 984. 

I did not think we had been so near Scotland. Sweet, N. E. Gr., § 2247. 

In a construction like the following tense* shifting would, of 
course, be unavoidable: 

The earl would rather she had shown a little jealousy on the subject. 
Flor. Marryat, A Bankrupt Heart, I, 197. T. 

III. There seems to be no call for the perfect infinitive in the following 
quotations, no reversing import being implied. 

In the meantime she worked on for certain examinations which it would 
benefit her to have passed. Gissing, A Life's Morn., Ch. V, 67. 
At last he staggered to the shore, and set her down upon the bank; 
and he strong man he needed to have been, or that wild water he never 
would have crossed. Kingsiev, The Heroes, II, II, 115. 
The midnight train from town . . . enables its travellers to have stayed 
to the very end of most theatrical performaces. E. F. Benson, Arundel, 
Ch. Ill, 56. 

65. Through what appears to be careless haste, many writers have 
sometimes been betrayed into the error of placing a perfect 
infinitive after the pluperfect conditional of a finite verb. See, 
however, 66, Obs. III. The practice is probably due to an ex= 
cessive sense of the action or state indicated by the infinitive 
not having come into fulfilment, and a consequent desire of 
expressing this in the form of the predication. This redundancy 
of tense is met with after: 

<l) to dd re: Many will feel with the writer of this beautiful passage, who 
would hardly have dared to have put their feeling into words. Mrs. Oliphant, 
The Victorian Age, I, 89') 

b) had better and, probably, others of the phrases mentioned 
in 62. Instances appear to be very rare. 

Malmstedt, Stud. 


Give me the ocular proof; I Or by the worth of man's eternal soul, ! Thou 
hadst been better have been born a dog | Than answer mv waked wrath. 
Shak., Othello, III, 3, 362. 

c) the verbs mentioned in 63. Instances appear to be rather 
common, especially after to like: 

to expect: After such a victory | I had expected to have found in thee | 

A cheerful spirit. Coleridge, The Death of Wallenstein, V, 1, (659). 

to hope: I had hoped to have prevailed upon you to allow I am to ao> 

company me. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XLIV, 408. 

I had hoped to have procured you some oysters from Britain. Lytton, Pomp., 

1, Ch. Ill, 16b. 

to like: I should have liked to have taken a stroll in the hayfields. ThaCK., 

Sam. Titm., Ch. I, 2. 

Tom . . . would have liked to have stopped at the Belle Savage. Hughes, Tom 

Brown, I, Ch. IV. 65. 

He would have liked to have hugged his father, ib., I, Ch. IV, 67. 

I would have liked to have given Miss Abby a good smack for sending him 

up such places. Em. Lawless, A Colonel of the Empire, Ch. V. 

I should have liked to have shown you some of my little collections. Mrs. 

\V\rd, The Mating of Lydia, III, Ch. XVI. 342. 

I should have liked to have seen him before I left the Hague. Mas}. Bovten, 

I. will maintain, II. Ch. VI, 234. 

to mean: He had meant to have taken advantage of the unwonted softness 

of Egerton. Lytton, My Novel, II, IX, Ch. V, 95. 

to think: I lack iniquity | Sometimes to do me service: nine or ten times j 

I had thought to have yerk'd him here under the ribs. Siiak., Othello, 

I, 2. 5. 

I had thought, sir, to have held my peace, until | You had drawn oaths from 

him not to stay, id., Winter's Tale, I, 2, 28. 

He had hardly thought to have seen the young gentleman alive. Thack., 

Pend., Ill, 150. T. 1 ) 

Of the same nature is the construction in : 

What man is there so much unreasonable, | If you had pleased to have de- 
fended it | With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty | To urge the thing 
held as a ceremony? Sh\k., Merch., V, 1, 204. 

d) nominal predicates such as have been described in 64. 

Paul would have been glad to have told him that he was glad to see him, 
if he could have done so with the least sincerity. Dick., Domb., Ch. XI, 104. 

66. Ohs. I. A similar redundancy of tense may also be observed in construe; 
tions with : 

a) a subordinate statement: I should have thought her duty and 
inclination would now have pointed to the same object Siiik., Riv., 
IV. 3. 

b) an adverbial infinitive: And you, Mr. Justice, might have been so 
civil as to have invited me to dinner FaRQUHAR, Rccr. Of., ,5, 7, (346). 

') Storm.. Eng. Phil. 8 . 7v 


c) an accusative with infinitive or a similar construction: What 
madness could have induced you to have acted as you have? Marryai. 
Jacob Faithful. 1 ) 

As to measuring her waist in sport, as they did, Young brood, I couldn't 
have done it: I should have expected my arm to have grou'ri round it for 
a punishment, and never come straight again. Dick., Christm. Car., II. 
It is one of the controversies which we had thought to have been settled 
for all time. Westm. Gar., No. 8414, 2a. 

II. The use of the perfect tense, on the other hand, is mostly quite 
justified in an infinitive which in no way forms a kind of unit 
with the pluperfect conditional in the head«sentence of a complex. 

To have taken the field openly against his rival would have been mad= 

ness. Wash, Irv., Sketch*Bk., XXXII, 355. 

I would have given any money to have been allowed to wrap myself up 

overnight and sleep in my hat and boots. Dick., Cop., Ch. II, 1 4 a. 

A notoriety he would have done much to have avoided was forced upon 

him., A People's Man, Ch. XXVII. 2 ) 

Indeed, after all that had happened, for Burns to have deserted Jean and 

married another would have been the basest infidelity. Principal Shairp, 

Burns, 86. s ) 

Mrs. Ambrose seemed to be very obtuse, and the vicar would have been 

the last to have spoken of his suspicion, even to the wife of his bosom. 

Mar. Crawt., A Tale of a Lonely Parish, Ch. IX. 

III. In the headssentence of the following quotation the pluperfect 
seems to have been used in preference to the preterite to colour 
the utterance with some additional emotion. Compare my Trea* 
tise on Tense, § 147; Sweet, N. E. Gr., § 2247. 

I had hoped you had done for ever with that deluder of youth. Lytton, 
My Novel, II, XI, Ch. V, 269. 

The following cutting from the Saturday Westminster Gas 
zette (No. 8402, 22b) showing, as it does, the emotional colour; 
ing which, in the opinion of some Englishmen, the redundant 
perfect tense in the Infinitive, may impart to the sentence, will, 
most probably, interest the student: 

The Pluperfect Infinitive. 
To the Editor of the "Saturday Westminster' . 

Sir — Your criticism of Mr. Devonald Fletcher for writing should not 
have allowed T. S. M. to have said recalls an incident recounted by a 
young friend, who had been visiting some elderly relatives, and which 
illustrates an adroit use of the perfect infinitive to serve a subtle purpose. 
On the breakfast=table were two eggs, which were appropriated by his 
uncle and aunt respectively. During the marmalade stage the aunt turned 
to her nephew and exclaimed: "Oh, Arthur, would you not have liked to 
have had an egg?' Note the cautious pawkiness of the construction — 
it guards .i^ainst any rash supposition that an egg is forthcoming in the 

') Malmstedt, Stud. 

2 ) Kruisinga, The Student's Monthly, II, No. 23. 

3 ) Malmstedt, Stud. 


near future. It merely bids the inadequately fed youth to contemplate 
the radiant repletion of his elders, and to admit that under happier 
conditions (now ruthlessly relegated to the tense of the irrevocable past) 
he would have found equal satisfaction. For the epiestion, like the 
examples in the Latin Grammar, clearly expects the answer "Yes ". A 
negative would have been scarcely polite! It was, in short, a refined, if 
roundabout, means of conveying the popular but rude gibe, "Don't von 
wish yon may get it?" 

67. In conclusion attention is drawn to the rather common practice- 
in Early Modern English of dropping the have of the perfect 
infinitive after / would have had, and its variations for person. 
This leaves a past participle which strikes the modern reader, 
who is not aware of the tensesredundancy underlying the prac* 
tice, as an erroneous substitute for an infinitive. The suppression 
is, no doubt, due to a reluctance to burden the sentence with 
an excessive number of forms of the verb to have. See especially 
Stoffel, in Taalstudie IX, from which all the following quo* 
tations have been taken. 

My men would have had me given them leave to fall upon them at once. Defoi 

Rob. Crusoe. 

D'Avenant would fain have had me gone and drink a bottle of wine at his house 

hard by. Svtift. 

He would have had us taken a road which was full of those people we were 

so much afraid of. Johnson, Voy. to Abys., 41. 

The same construction has also been observed after such expressions as 
/ had like, I had liever, etc. 

This aversion, heightened by a vast ambition . . . had like to broke out in the 
reign of Antoninus Pius. Jer. Coliiik. 

The Passive Infinitive in detail. 

68. When the relation of an infinitive to the (pro)noun it refers 
to is understood to correspond to that of predicate to object, 
in other words, when the infinitive has a distinctly passive 
meaning, it is now normally placed in the passive voice, irrespec* 
tive of its grammatical function. 

I am worthy to be scorned. Thack., Pend., I, Ch. XXVII, 291. 
The Allies do not mean to be trijled with any longer. Times, No. 2301, 98d. 
They are very much in earnest about one thing, which is that they will not submit 
to be treated as inferior races. W'estm. Ga:„ No. 8603, 5a. 

69. In the oldest English, when the infinitive still partook con* 
siderably of the nature of a noun of action (1, Note), it was, 


naturally, neutral as to voice. Its dative preceded by to often 
had a passive meaning. 

pa ping pe to donne sind. Sweet, N. E. Gr., § 2325. 

We have seen (3, Obs. I) that in course of time both the dative 
and the commonscase form of the infinitive lost their suffixes. 
As this process went on, the infinitive lost some of its sub* 
stantival nature, and assumed more and more the character of 
a verb. The change was the occasion of the passive voice of 
the infinitive coming to be employed in most of the cases in 
which this form was used of the finite verb. Thus the above 
example became the things which are to be done. Compare, 
however, 71, a. 

From various causes which it is not always easy to ascertain, 
the older form has maintained itself in not a few cases which 
admit or, at least, suggest interpretations which render the use 
of the passive voice unnecessary. For instances of active in? 
finitives in Shakespeare, which in Present English would be 
replaced by passive infinitives see also A. Schmidt, Shak. Lex. 
s. v. to, 3. 

70. The infinitive with a passive meaning is now almost regularly 
placed in the passive voice when it is used in the function of 
nominal part of the predicate after the copulas to be and to 
remain. See also Wilmanns, Deutsche Gram., Ill, I, § 88, 5. 

i. Such a letter was not to be soon recovered from. Jane Austen, Pers., 
Ch. XXIII, 246. 

Was it really all to be believed? Temple Thurston, Mirage, Ch. V, 36. 
He is not to be found anywhere. Sweet, Spoken Eng., 43. 
It is hardly to be wondered at if Germans generally feel a little sore. Rev. 
of Rev., No 196, 335a. 

A sum of from 80 to 100 millions is not to be sneezed at. Westm. Gaz. 
No. 8227, 2 a. 
ii. It remains to be seen whether the squire has a heart to appeal to. Mrs. Ward, 
Rob. Elsm., II, 80. T. (— Dutch Het staat te bezien...) 
Glideless combinations remain to be considered. Sweet, Sounds of Eng., § 165. 
All our main problems remain to be solved. Westm. Gaz., No. 8267, lb. 

Compare with the above the following quotation, in which yet -j- to 
he has the same value as to remain: 

Treby had prospered without baths, and it was yet to be seen how it would 
prosper with them. G. Eliot, Fel. Holt, I, Ch. Ill, 67. 

Also to fall and to stand when faded in meaning, so as to come near 
to copulas, may be followed by a passive infinitive. According to 


Mikkay (s. v. fall, 52, b) this use of to fall is especially common in 
northern dialects. 

i. In speeches that arc full of fresh tacts and new thoughts not a word is to be 
s.', while the repetition of old ideas and the elaboration i^i familial arguments 
fall to be entirely discarded or to be summarized in .1 dozen lines. Good 

The deputation . . . said appropriately what falls to be said on such an occasion. 
Westm. Gaz., No. 5573, 2 b. 
ii. The Government has been wavering between the politically attractive idea of 
hitting the profiteers and the strong objection of its supporters, not a few of 
whom stand to be hit on that ground, ib., No. 8408, 1 a. 

71. Ohs. I. It may be observed that to be in the above connexion, although 
essentially a copula, implies some weak secondary notions, varying 
as to the general purport of the sentence, i. e. : 

a) some form of necessity, approximating to that more explicitly and 
emphatically expressed by should (or ought) or must. 

Why he was to be pitied Jeremy did not know. Ihcii Walpoif, Jeremy, 
Ch. XII, I, 297. 

It is vers' much to be hoped that their counsels will prevail. Westm. 
Ga:., No. 8420, 2 b. 

b) some form of capability, approximating to that more explicitly 
expressed by can or may. 

Jaggers would do it if it was to be done. Dick., Great Expect., 

Ch. XX, 197. 

This iras not to be endured. Shavt, The Four Pleas. Plays, Pref., 

5. T. 

I think Jeremy is to be trusted. Hugh Walpole, Jeremy, Ch. XI, 3, 

(Compare: After some hesitation it was decided that Jeremy might be 

trusted, ib.) 

Dr. Nansen strove with them (sc. the Allies) till the going down of the 

sun to avert this collapse and stultification of so much honourable pride 

and so many real sacrifices. But the Powers u>cre not be moved. Manch. 

Guard., 5, No. 14, 263a. 

In the following quotations to be has the first secondary notion 
in connexion with the first infinitive, the second in connexion 
with the second infinitive: 

Human life is everywhere a state in which much is to endured and little 
to be enjoyed. Johnson, Ras., Ch. XI, 69. 

It was much to be regretted, but still it was not to be helped Dp k . 
Great Expect., Ch. XVII, H4. 

II. Sometimes there is an adjective, often one in able or ible, which 
has approximately the same meaning as the passive infinitive. 
This goes far to show that the main function of to be as used 
in the above connection is that of a copula. 

It is a trite but true obsvervation, that examples work more forcibly on 
the mind than precepts; and if this be just in what is odious and 


blameable, it is more strongly so in what is amiable and praiseworthy. 

Field., Jos. Andr., I, Ch. I, 1. 

Of late a great improvement in this respect is observable in our most 

popular writers, Coleridge, Biog. Lit., Ch. XVI, 157. 

Much capital is not realisable or divisible at all. Westm. Gaz., 

No. 8086, 2 b. 

III. The above to be should be distinguished from another to be, which 
expresses a stronger form of necessity, and is especially used to 
represent a person, animal or thing as being acted upon by the 
will of a person other than either the speaker or the person 
spoken to, or as under the force of an arrangement or a dispen= 
sation of Providence. See Ch. I, 29—32. 

Thus: You are to give this to John. We were to go in a carrier's cart. 
The day broke which was to decide the fate of India. 
Or passively: This is to be given to John. The day broke on which 
the fate of India was to be decided. 

It cannot be denied, however, that this to be in one of its many 
other applications, i. e. when it appears as a weak to have, some; 
times hardly differs from to be, which is to be set down as a 
copula. Thus in the example cited higher up Human life is every= 
where a state in which much is to be endured and little to be enjoyed 
there is nothing to prevent us from understanding much is to be 
endured as slightly weaker than much has to be endured. 
A good instance of to be -f- infinitive and to have 4- infinitive 
being sometimes indistinguishable is afforded by the following 

All was preparation. Fresh sand had to be strewn in the arena. New 
tapestry hangings were to deck the galleries, the houses and balconies 
to be brave with drapery, the fountain in the market=place was to play 
Rhine=wine. Younge, Dove in the Eagle's Nest, II, 1. 

Compare also Nesfield (Hist. Eng. and Deri v., § 219, (2), who 
observes that / am or was to go and / have or had to go "mean 
much the same thing". 

It may be added that the active voice never takes the place of 
the passive after to be when it is to be understood as a weak 
to have. 

Then sure You know what is to be done. Siier., Riv., Ill, 4, (252). 

72. The older practice of leaving the active voice of the infinitive 
in the function of nominal part of the predicate undisturbed, 
notwithstanding its undubitably passive meaning, has, to a certain 
extent, maintained itself to the present day. 

a) Thus in Present English we still meet with instances of this 
active voice, if the infinitive is one of the following verbs: 


to blame. Probably the active voice is still more common 
than the passive. 

i My dear, I am not fo blame. Field., Jos. Andr., I, Ch. XII. 31. 

I do not know if I am to blame. Galsw., Saint's Prog., III. n, 2 ^. 2?" 
lor the dday the Great Powers are largely to blame. Manch, Guard., V. 
No 18, 343 b 
ii. Yet learning is not to be blamed. Imit. Christ i, I, Ch. III. 23. 

Defoe is scarely to be blamed for using his new-found art upon gross themes 
\V. J. Dawson, The Makers of Kng. Fict., Ch. I, 10. 

In the following quotation both the active and the passive voice are 
met with: 

They are not to be blamed for desiring to see us weak and disunited, or for 
trying to take away as much of the employment of our people as thev can. 
But we are much to blame if we do not strain every nerve to frustrate their 
schemes. Times. 

According to Murray (s. v. blame, 6) "In the 16—17^ century the to 
was misunderstood as too. and blame taken as an adjective = blame= 
worthy, culpable". Thus in: 

Blush and confesse that you be too too blame. Harington, Epigr. I, 84b. 

The misapprehension may, at least in part, be responsible for the 
retention of the active voice. 

to compare. To all appearance the active voice is still 
rather common, although Murray marks it as obsolete. 

I don't think you are anv more to compare to her than a can of small beer 
to a bowl of punch. Congreve, Love for Love, III, (251). 
An imitation of the best Authors is not to compare with a good Original. 
Addison, Spect., No. 160. 

I do not know any English women who are to compare to such Americans 
in brilliancy and fascination. El. Glvn, Halcyone, Ch. X, 88. 
ii. All the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Bible. 
Prov. Ill, Iv 

Note. It should be observed that to compare is one of the numerous 
transitive verbs that may be used intransitively through assuming a 
passive meaning. Comment on this remarkable feature of English idiom 
must be reserved for another paper. The following quotations must 
suffice for the present occasion. 

i. There is no bird in England can compare with the sweetness of his fsc. the 

blackcap's) voice. Temple Thurston, The Open Window. I, 6. 

.V a strengthening stimulating beverage no ordinary meat extract can compare 

with bovril. II. Lond. News, 
ii. Mr. Swinnerton has written four or five other novels before this one. but 

none of them compare with it in quality. Weils, Pref. to Swinnerton's 

iii. Pen's healthy red face compared oddly with the waxy debauched little features 

of Foker's chum. Track., Pend., I, Ch. V, 53. 

She compares favourably with Evangeline. Sarah Grand, Our man. nat 


to do. Except for such a combination as What is to do, 
for which see b), the active voice is now obsolete. 

I do not know | Why yet 1 live to say, "This thing's to do". Shak., Haml., 
IV, 4, 44. 

The best is yet to do. id., As you like it, I, 2, 102. 
ii. "And a propos, Moses, have you been able to get me that little bill dis= 
counted?" — "It was not to be done, indeed, Mr. Trip." Shfr., School 
for Scand., Ill, 2, (395). 

to learn, in the sense of to receive instruction, to be taught or 
told. In this meaning the verb is now well=nigh obsolete, at 
least in Standard English, and the active voice does not, there? 
fore, strike us as anything out of the common. In fact, / am 
yet to learn appears to the modern reader as a variant of 
/ have yet to learn. Compare Stof., E. S., XXIX. 

i. But how I caught it (sc. my sadness), found it, or came by it, I What stuff 
'tis made of, whereof it is born, | I am to learn. Shak., Merch., I, 1, 5. 
If there is any difference between the pronunciation of 'see' and 'sea', I am 
yet to learn wherein it lies. Notes and Quer., 1894, Nov. 3, 355b. 
ii. It turns out girls who are systematic and orderly, but I have yet to learn 
that it turns out girls that are resourceful. Lit. World, 1898, May 6, 404a. 

The following quotation with to learn indubitably in the above 
meaning will, no doubt, be acceptable to the student: 

She ain't half bad, . . . but if she knows her letters it's the most she does — 
and then I learned her. Dick., Our Mut. Friend, I, Ch. Ill, 27. T. 

to let. The passive voice is now, perhaps, rather more 

frequent than the still common active voice. It is, of course, 

unavoidable in the combination to be sold or let. 

i. I went into a cottage that I saw was to let. Dick., Cop., Ch. XXXVI, 259a. 
I see the house is to let. Galsworthy, Saint's Prog., Ill, XIII, 1 §, 340. 
ii. This desirable Mansion is to be Let Furnished. Hardy, 1 ) 

Note. In passing we may here point out he difference between The 
house is to be sold (= It has been determined to sell the house) and 
The house is for sale (= The house is in the market). 

to seek, in the sense of to be in request. 

A work of this kind is still to seek. Webst., Diet. 
Houses are still to seek. Westm. Gaz., No. 8267, lb. 

Note. The predicative to seek is found in a few other interesting 
shades of meaning, in which 'however, the notion of passivity is more 
or less 'to seek', i. e. hardly to be recognized. These shades of meaning 
may be defined to be those of: 

1) deficient: We find his economical reasoning sadly to seek in cogency and 
grasp. Times. 

) GOnth., Man, § 583. 


2) at a loss: For if you reduce usury to one low rate, it will ease the common 
borrower, but the merchant will be to seek for money- Bacon, Es., Of 
Usury, (115), (In Elizabethan English usury had not the unfavourable 
meaning it has now, but simply denoted the practice of taking interest for 
money borrowed.) 

For the details of our itinerary, I am all to seek. Stevenson, Kidnapped, 
Ch. XX. 

3 unskilled, inexperienced, deficient in knowledge (or skill) of: I do 

not think my sister so to seek, | Or so unprincipl'd in virtue's book ... .V 

that the single want of light and noise . . . | Could stir the constant mood 

of her calm thoughts Milton, Com us, 366. 

He is unacquainted with the maxims and manners of the world; he is to 

seek in the character of individuals. Hazlitt, On the Ignorance of the 

Learned. (Pardoe, Sel. Eng. Es. 233). 

It is in his dialogue that he is, perhaps most to seek. Lit. World, 1893, 

March 3, 196c. 

b) Rather common is the active voice of the predicative infinitive, 
especially of to do, when it has such a subject as much, a 
great deal, something, what, etc. ; e.g.: Much is yet (or 
remains) to do. What is to pay? 

This practice is, perhaps, due to the analogy with constructions 
in which the verb to be as an intransitive verb is accom? 
panied by weak there, and the infinitive has the value of 
an undeveloped clause. In these, as we shall see below (76), 
the active voice is quite commonly retained. Compare 
Murray, s. v. do, 33, a. 

i.* Little is to do. Siiak., Macb.. V, 7, 28. 

What's to do. id.. Twelfth Night, III, 3, 17. 

She looked at him rather frightened, and wondering, and asked him what 

was to do. Mrs. Gask., Cranf., Ch. VI, 109. 

A great deal certainly is yet to do in the non=Aryan fields of language. 

Lit. World, 1894, 229a. 

Worthy Macduff and we \ Shall take upon's what else remains to do. Siiak.. 

Macb., V, 6, 5. 

Much hath been done — but more remains to do. Byron, Cors., II, IV. 

An hour when your servants are in bed is to be preferred for what will 

then remain to do. Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll, Ch. IX, 83. 

Clive had pointed out to him what had already been done and what remained 

to do. A. and C. Askew, The Lurking Shadow, Ch. XVI. 1 ) 

The active infinitive even bears no replacing by the passive in the 
archaic phrase What's here to do? in the sense of What is up here 1 

What's here to do? Congreve, Love for Love, III, 1 C 

What's here to do? Dick.. Barn. Rudge. Ch. III. 14b 

Compare: One maid among three of us. What's to r>e done? J M. Barrie. 

The Admirable Crichton, I, 35. 

') De Drie Talen, XXXI, No. 11. 


The practice appears to be rare with other verbs. 

Much remains to sing. Ch. Lamb, Es. of Eli a, The SouthsSea House. 

c) Sometimes the active voice seems to owe its preservation to 
the fact that the passive yoice would convey another meaning. 
Thus sometimes after still or yet. 

i. His wife , . . had maintained all through that this Miss Mountstephen was 
absolutely innocent, and that the guilty person was still to find. L.C.Davidson, 
The Great Dynover Pearl Case. 1 ) (= was still the subject of the quest. 
The passive was still to be found would mean could still be found, which is 
here impossible.) 

The fortunes of the Allies, certain as the issue is, are yet to make.' 2 ) Daily 
News and Lead. 
ii. Persecution and revenge, like courtship and toadyism, will not prosper without 
a considerable expenditure of time and ingenuity, and these are not to spare 
with a man whose law ■■ business and liver are both beginning to show un= 
pleasant symptoms. G. Elioi, Scenes, III, 247. (= in plenty: compare to 
have time, money, etc. to spare. To be spared would mean to be left over 
or unused.) 

d) In some cases the retention of the active infinitive may be 

owing to a tendency of mentally supplying such a phrase 

as for me (you, us, somebody, some person etc.) before the 

infinitive, the (pro)noun in these phrases representing the 

logical subject of the infinitive. 

The cards of address alone remained to nail or. Ch. Bronte, Jane Eyre, 

Ch. XXV, 336. (= for me to nail on.) 

"What are all these books for?" — "They are to read." El. Glyn, Haley one, 

Ch. I, 8. (= for you to read.) 

This book it to read and not to tear. Abbot, Shak. Gram. 8 , § 405. 

e) The passive meaning of the predicative infinitive is some* 
times doubtful owing to the fact that the verb admits of 
two interpretations, i. e. as an intransitive as well as a tran* 
sitive verb. Compare what has been observed about to 

They all knew by now that she was a cypher, — that she was not to count. 
Mrs. Ward, The Mating of Lydia, Prol., Ch. II, 25. 

73. a) Closely akin to the infinitives discussed in the preceding 
sections are those which are to be regarded as constituents 
of adnominal undeveloped clauses (Ch. XVIII, 16 £f). Also 
in these the active voice has mostly been changed into the 
passive voice when they are related to the (pro)nouns they 
modify as predicate to object. 

') De Drie Talen, XXXI, No. 10; 2 ) ib., No. 12. 


The great calamity which had fallen on Argyle had this advantage, that it 
enabled him to show, by proofs not to be mistaken, what manner of man 
he was Mac, Hist., II. Ch. V, 130. 

The dangers to be braved were such as could neither be knocked down nor 
throttled. G. Eliot. Sil. Mam., I. Ch. Ill, 22. 

He could only think of one thing to be done. Hardy, Under the Green- 
wood Tree. I, Ch. IX. SO. 

The interior of the room is not like anything to be seen in the east of 
Europe. Shaw, Arms and the Man, I, (25). T. 

b) An attributive adnominal infinitive, when passive in meaning, 
is regularly placed in the passive voice. The infinitive often 
enters into combination with another word. For illustration 
see also Ch. VIII, 102; and Jespersen, Mod. Eng. Gram., 
II, 14.41. 

For my own part, I confess that I do not think I have ever read ... a more 

decided specimen of the to*be=damned doggrel, than was then exhibited by 

Lord Byron himself. Lytton, Life of Lord Byron, 15b. 

It was perhaps the not=to*be satisfied satisfaction of a morbid mind . . which 

first induced him to turn his thoughts upon marriage, ib., 20a. 

It was a much'to-be-Aonged'for place. El. Glyn, The Reason Why, Ch. X, 86. 

The events which are taking place in the eastern theatre may well hasten 

the much'tO'be'desired retirement of German troops from French territory. 

Westm. Ga;., No. 6648, lb. 

The about'-to-be--released prisoner tried to explain that Irish Unionists were 

loyal to England. The New Statesman, No. 95, 403b. 

Her writing reminds me of those leasMo'be°forgotten evenings of my life 

when [etc.]. Punch, No. 3836, 40a. 

74. The use of the active voice in this function is, however, far 
more common than in that of nominal part of the predicate. 
This is, probably, owing to the fact that the distinctly final 
meaning of the infinitive considerably weakens its adnominal 
relation to the (pro)noun it refers to. This renders the use 
of the passive voice uncalled-for, the more so because a (pro)* 
noun in the subjective relation to it is mostly readily suggested 
by the context. Compare Ch. XVIII, 17, Obs. II, and also 
Onions, Adv. Eng. Synt., § 173. 

75. This is distinctly the case when the infinitive modifies the thing* 
object, whether nonsprepositional or prepositional, of the sentence. 
The logical subject of the infinitive is then felt to be denoted by: 
a) the subject or the person*object of the sentence. 

i*. He has so much to say for himself. Sher., Riv., IV, 2, (259). 

Mr. Martin, I imagine, has his fortune entirely to make. Jam AUSTEN, 
Emma, Ch. IV, 29. T. 


The gardener was picking fruit to send to market. Tjiack., Van. Fair, I, 
Ch. VIII, 82. 

Mr.Jesse Collings will have nothing to say to intoxicants. Ti t« b i t s , No. 1 29 1 ,387a. 
If you've got money to fling about. A. Bennett, The Great Adventure, 
I, 2, (53). 

Take this book to read on your way. Onions, Adv. Eng. Synt., § 164. 
(The subject is implied in the imperative.) 
** He longed for worlds to conquer, ib., § 173. 

Note. In such sentences as / have a letter to write, I have no end 
of calls to make, the active voice is all the more natural, because 
they often bear a close resemblance to those in which to have appears 
as a synonym of must, and the infinitive precedes its object, e. g. : 
I have to write a letter, I have to make no end of calls. 

The Lord Mayor has a host of duties to discharge. E. Scott, England, 
Ch. V, 64. 

'there he resumed that struggle for life which is hell to most of those who 
have it to fight. J. E. Patterson, Stephen Compton, Ch. IV, 9. 

ii." ; I gave him bread to eat and water to drink. Meicklejohn, The Eng. Lang., 39. 
Let me have something to eat. Mason, Eng. Gram. 34 , § 362, 3, Note. 
** The rest we may leave to the tribes to accomplish. Grant Allen, The 
Tents of Shem, Ch. XVIII. 

She had dictated the letter to his father to write. Temple Thurston, The 
City of Beaut. Nons., I, Ch. XVI, 128. 

Also in such a construction as Mary had pleaded letters to write (Hope, 
Q_uisante, 79), mentioned by Jespersen (Mod. Eng. Gram., 15, 852), 
the active voice is justified by the expansion it naturally suggests: 
letters that she had to write. 

b) a (pro)noun in a prepositional phrase with for, which is 
understood because it is not necessary for the right under? 
standing of the sentence. Compare 74, Obs. IV. 

It remains to be seen whether the squire has a heart fo appeal to. Mrs. Ward, 

Rob. Elsm., II, 80. T. (sc. for us to appeal io.) 

Shops were open, especially places which sold things to eat and to drink. 

Wait. Besant, By Celia's Arbour, I, 17. T. 

The lawyer would have no bowels of compassion to speak of. Grant Allen, 

The Tents of shem, Ch. XVII. 

The following sentence can only be rightly understood when such 
a phrase is distinctly supplied: 

They like a man to follow. Hon, Phroso, Ch. VI, 132 (= They like a 
man for them to follow). 

Varied practice is shown by: 

The wayfarer sees with each returning sun some new obstacle to surmount, 
some new light to be attained. Dick., Nich. Nick, 656.') 

') Jespersen, Mod. Eng. Gram., 15.88. 


Bohemians who have no position to lose and no career to be closed, Shaw, 
The Doctor^ Dilemma, 110') (Observe the difference in logical relation 
between the two infinitives to the subject I 

76. Obs. I. When the context does not in anv way suggest a (pro)noun which 

might figure as the subject of the infinitive, the passive voice is 

i. You philosophers must not forget that we poor woidlings have bones 
to be broken. KlNGSLET, Hyp., Ch. II, 9a. 

The provision made by the Government was so ample and complete 
that it left little or nothing to be desired. Morn. Leader. (Compare 
with this the following quotation in which the person;object indicates 
the logical subject of the infinitive: It was sung in a provincial, amateur 
fashion, such as would have left a critical ear much to desire. G. Eliot, 
.Mill, VI, Ch. III. 355.) 
ii. He stood listening for the summons to be repeated. Stevenson. 

II. The active voice sometimes appears to be obligatory because the 
use of the passive would convert the sentence into an accusative 
with infinitive. Compare Obs. V. 

Both our boys still like one of our cakes to take to school or college 
with them. Tiiack , Virg., Ch. XXIII, 241. 

A human beast of prey; an African cannibal . . . wanted a boatman to 
eat. II. Lond. News, No. 5698, 35( 

III. According to De Drie Talen, XXXI, No. 11, 149, we say in- 
differently / have a house to let and / have a house to be let. 

IV. When the agent of the action denoted by the infinitive is men= 
tioned in a phrase consisting of for -f- (pro)noun, the passive 
voice is, of course, out of the question. Compare 75, b. 

He wishes every man to be registered, and to be paid, £ 4 a week, 
whether there is work for him to do or not. Westm Gaz., No. 8509, 4a. 

V. The passive infinitive, on the other hand, cannot be replaced by 
the active, when it is a constituent of an accusative -j- infinitive. 
Compare Obs. II; and 89. 

He commanded the bridge to be lowered. Mason, Eng. Gram., § 397. 

77. Also when the infinitive modifies the subject of a sentence con; 
taining weak there, the mind readily suggests a logical subject 
in the shape of a (pro)noun contained in a prepositional phrase 
with for. The active voice is, accordingly, quite common. The 
numerous quotations given below distinctly bring out the fact 
that the choice depends, to a certain extent, upon whether a 
weak form of necessity or capability is to be indicated. Some 
of them, however, bear either interpretation. 

'.) Jespersen, Mod. Eng. Gram., 15.88. 


!. Oh! there's not much to learn. Sher., School for Scand., Ill, 1, (389). 
Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant? Wordsworth, To a distant 
Friend, 4. 

There were no fine riddles of the human heart to read, no theories to propound, 
no hidden causes to develop, no remote consequences to predict. Mac., Es., 
Southey's Colloquies, (100a). 

I think that I have seen now all that there is to see. Con. Doyle, Sherl., 
Holm., II, 215. T. 

Are there interesting things to see? Hichens, The Garden of Allah, I, 147. T. 
There were the plates to wash and the knives to clean, and when they were 
done there was cabbage, potatoes, onions to prepare, saucepans to Jill with 
water, coal to fetch for the fire. George Moore, Esth. Waters, Ch. II, 14. 
If there had been a door to bang, she would certainly have banged it. Beatr. 
Harraden, Ships, I, Ch. XV, 81. 

If only she were there! If only her bright brown eyes were looking at him, 
what thousands of things there would be to say! Temple Thurston, The 
City of Beautiful Nonsense, I, Ch. XVI, 128. 

That first evening of his arrival, there was John's work to talk of, the success 
of his last book to discuss, the opinions of his criticisms to lay down, ib., 

Ill, Ch, IV, 142. 

There's little to tell about me. Bar. von Hutten, What became of Pam, 

Ch. Ill, 23. 

How could you take so long, Anna, if there was no answer to bring. Dor 

Gerard, Exotic Martha, Ch. XVII, 210. 

Then there are the educational history and practice of other nations from which 

there is generally much to learn. Times. 

There are nine runs to make and two wickets to go down. Onions, Adv. 

Eng. Synt., § 173. 
ii. There was little work to be done. G. Eliot, Sil. Marn., Ch. Ill, 19. 

There was nothing else to be done. McCarthy, Short Hist., Ch. XIII, 186. 

After such an accident there was nothing else to be done. Mrs. Ward, 1 h e 

Mating of l.vdia, I, Ch. IV, 86. 

There is no more to be said, ib., Ill, Ch. XVIII, 375. 

There were even cuckoos' eggs to be found there. Sweet, Old Chapel. 

There was true loneliness, loneliness not to be imagined. Moriey Roberts, 

Time and Thomas W r aring, Ch. XXXI, 309. 

There were such astonishing things to be talked over at this moment and 

nobodv to talk to. Dor. Gerard, Exotic Martha, Ch. XVIII, 212. T. 

There is no sign of life to be detected. Westm. Gaz., No. 8414. 5a. 

The lawyers of the nineteenth century have decided for us that the word 

"man" always includes "woman" where there is a penalty to be incurred, and 

never includes "woman" when there is a privilege to be conferred. Rev. of 

Rev., No. 213, 322b. 

Note. The following groups of quotations show that the choice 
between the active and the passive iniinitive does not always depend 
on a consideration of the secondary notion implied, but is, apparently, 
a matter of individual predilection, or even of mere chance. 

i. There was no woman to compare to her. Conway, Called Back, 69. 
ii. Erasmus asserted that there was no town in all Christendom to be compared 
to it (sc. Ghent) for size, power or the culture of its inhabitants. Motley, 
Rise, I, Ch. I, 32a. 


i. There's not a moment to lose. Dick., Nich. Nick., Ch. II. 6a 

I here's no time to lose, id., Ol. Twist, ( h XI 

Obviouslv there was no time to lose. Dor. Guard, Exotic Martha, 

i h. XVII, 207. T. 

ii. There was no time to be lost. McCarthy, Short Hist., ( Ii XIII. 18 
There's no time to be lost. G. Eliot, Fel. Holt, I, Ch. II, 57 
There is no time to be lost. Oscar Wilde, The Importance of being 
Earnest. I, 35. 
There is not an instant to be lost. Con. Doyle, Sherl. Holm., 1. 24V T 

i. There were new and admirable things to see there. Froude, Oceana, 
i h XX. 335. 
You say there was nothing to see! Shaw, Widowers' Houses, I, (14). 

ii. Do you think it sensible to take a long and expensive journey to see what 
there is to be seen, and then go away without seeing it. ib., 1, (10) 

The two constructions may even be found in one and the same sentence. 

But always, with a shock, I was brought back to earth, where there were no 
heroic deeds to do, no lions to face, no judges to defy, but only some dull 
duty to be performed. Annie Besant, Autobiography, 43 
There was so much to see at Florence. No — pardon me! — there is nothing 
to be seen at Florence. Mrs. Ward, Eleanor, 20.') 

78. Obs. I. After to fall as a quasi copula, and to remain, the passive voice 
seems to be the normal form. The available evidence is, however, 
far too scanty to draw any reliable conclusions from. 

Having placed so much to its (sc. the motor omnibus's) credit, however, 

there falls to be considered a totally different aspect of the case. II. 

Lond. News, No. 3896, 1068a. 

Meanwhile there still remained forty chestnuts to be eaten. Cor.; 

Mackenzie, Sylvia Scarlett, Ch. II, 82. 

After that there remained nothing to be done. A. \m> C. Askew, The 

Lurking Shadow, Ch. XXXI.") 

The same practice probably obtains after to be left = to remain. 

I don't see that there is anything left to be said. Gissin^, A Life's 
Morn., Ch. IV, 55. 

II. The active voice sometimes appears to be obligatory, because the 
passive would convey another meaning than the one intended. 
Thus in: 

There was no general to send. Omons, Adv. hng. Synt., §173 
(= There was no general that could be sent. Compare : There was no 
general to be sent = It was determined that no general should be sent.) 
There s nothing on earth to do here. Kit;n Howard, One of 'he 
Family, I, Ch. IV, 79. (= There is no business, sport, amusement, 
etc. going on here. Compare: There is nothing on earth to be done 
here = There is nothing on earth that can (or should) be done here.) 
There is nothing to do here in the evenings hut play billiards ib 

l ) Jespersen, Mod. Eng. Gram.. 15.88. 
s ) De Drie Talen. XXXI. No 11. 



Easter Sunday, for all its traditions, is a gladless day in London. There 
is positively nothing to do. Temple Thurston, The City of Beaut 
Nons., I, Ch. XVI, 123. 

III. In iome cases idiom hardly tolerates the active voice to be replaced 
by the passive, although the change of voice would involve no 
change of meaning. 

i. She had known before she died practically all that there was fo know. 
Mrs. Ward, Cousin Phil., Ch. Ill, 47. 

The three men ... by now had learnt what there was to know of each 
other. Daily News. 1 ] 

Compare the following quotation in which the verb to be is not 
accompained by weak there: 

She seemed to knew all was fo be known. Galsw., Beyond, I 
Ch. Ill, 36. 
ii. There was the devil fo pay with the girl's relations. G. Ei.iot, Eel. 
Holt, !, Ch. XXI, 523. 

79. a) For the rest the use of the active infinitive in a passive 
meaning appears to be common only when the noun modified 
is preceded by an adjective, especially one expressing fitness 
or suitability. The noun modified mostly stands in the 
grammatical function of nominal part of the predicate or 
predicative adnominal adjunct. Observe the frequent the 
proper (correct, etc.) thing to do. See Jespersen, Mod. Eng. 
Gram., 15.841; De Drie Talen, XXXI, No. 12. 

i. The only thing to do was to carry him into the nearest shelter. .Mrs. Ward, 
The Mating of Lydia, 1, Ch. IV, 87. (Only = only proper.) 
It's the only thing to do now. Osc. Wilde, The Importance of being 
Earnest, III, 144. 

Now the first thing fo settle is what to take with us. Jerome, Three Men 
in a Boat, Ch. Ill, 24. 

ii The baking pa t was the next thing to be consider'd. Defoe, Rob. Crus., 
145. 2 ) 

Thus also when an adjective is distinctly felt to be understood. 

i This is a book to read. Abbot, Shak. Gram. 3 , ^ 40s. (= This is a tit 

book to read.) 

According to him the Old Chapel was not a place fo visit by night Sweet, 

Old Chapel, 

It is a work to read, enjoy, and discuss. Advertisement.) 

I'urog is the bread fo eat to-day and every day. id/) 
ii. Her father was in truth not a man to be treated with. Chesterton, Brow< 

ning, 80. 'J 

I De Di le Talen, XXXI, No. 11. 

2 ) [espersen, Mod. Eng. Gram., 15.871. 

I De Drie Talen, XXX!. No. 12. 

1 ii Mod. Eng. Gram., 15.872. 


She a person to be trusted and relied upon. (?), The Cap of Youth, 

v h XVIII.') 

The variability of the practice is distinctly shown by a com; 
parison of the following two quotations: 

He is not a man to know. Dick., Cop., 306.*) (= a man which one om;ht 

to know, or a proper man to know.) 

Dombev was .i man to be known, id., Do nib., 78 

Sometimes even both the active and the passive infinitive in 
identical functions are met with in one and the same sentence. 

One of the very first and most practical things to do, and to be done at 
once, is to turn the Prisons into Indu.s1rial Asylums. CARPENTER, Prisons, 
Police and Punishment, 61. s ) (The passive voice seems to be due to 
at once.) 

N ote. It will be observed that the adjective felt to be understood may 
also be inserted after the noun modified: This is a book pit to read. 
It is then to be considered as the constituent of an undeveloped clause 
which may be expanded into an adnominal clause introduced by a 
relative pronoun: This is a book which is fit to read. For discussion 
of the voice of the infinitive in such a connexion see 83; and 85, 
Obs. III. 

b) When no adjective precedes the noun modified, nor is sug= 
gested by the context, the ordinary practice is to place the 
infinitive in the passive voice. For illustration see also 73, a. 

To slam doors was an offence only to be wiped out by twenty lines of Virgil. 

G. Eliot, Mill, II, Ch. IV. 

The agitation . . . suddenly showed itself a thing only to be laughed at. 

McCarthy, Short Hist. Ch. VIII, 91. 

He was not a man to be lightly played upon. Mrs. Ward, .Marc, I, 121 

But even in this case the active voice is sometimes met with. 
Shipping is laid up for want of goods to carry. Westm. Gaz., No. 8615, 4a. 

For explanation of the frequent use of to compare in a passive meaning 
see 72, a. 

For never yet, in beauty's braided hair, | Or haughty monarch's costly dia 
dem, | Shone pearl or ruby with it to compare. Bkrnard Barton, Sir Philip 
Sidney, VII. 

c) The active voice appears to be regularly preserved in the 
adnominal infinitive whose head*word is preceded by the 
preposition with in the meaning of having. See JESPERSEN, 
Mod. Eng. Gram., 15.852. 

l ) De Drie Talen, XXXI No. 12 

! ) Jfspfrsfn. Mod. Eng. Gram., lvS42; ') ib.. 1 


He had been married ... to a lady with no heart to give him. Dick., Domb.- 

Ch. I, 6. 

You have left me with nothing to do. Wells, The New Macchiavelli, 

S19. 1 ) 

d) The passive voice is, of course, unavoidable, when the in* 
verted subject, i. e. a wordgroup with the preposition by 
(Sweet, N. E. Gr., § 313) follows. 

Scrooge was not a man to be frightened by echoes. Dick., Christm. Car., I. 

e) Conversely the adnominal infinitive is naturally placed in 

the active voice when preceded by for -j- (pro)noun. 

This is a matter for the trade unions to consider forthwith. Times, Educ. 
Sup., No. 356, 427b. 

f) Some adnominal infinitives regularly preserve the active voice 

in certain of their applications. 

I have a long wooden house with room enough and to spare. Mrs. Gask., 
Mary Barton, Ch. XXXVIII, 371. 

Mrs. Jennings very likely belonged to a family which had had no funerals 
to speak of. G. Eliot, Scenes, II, Ch. I, 72. 

g) Such a construction as is illustrated by the following quo? 

tation seems to be unusual: 

What idle man can withstand the temptation of a woman to fascinate, and 
another man to eclipse. G. Eliot, Scenes, II, Ch. IV, 110. (= of fascia 
nating a woman and eclipsing another man.) 

80. Infinitives modifying a predicative adjective (or adjective equi* 

valent) adverbially are mostly kept in the active voice, although 

related to the (pro)noun they refer to as predicate to object. 

Thus in such a sentence as This question is difficult to answer 

the infinitive is an adverbial adjunct (of restriction) of the 

adjective difficult, the subject, this question, being in the ob? 

jective relation to it. The reason why the infinitive is mostly 

placed in the active voice may be that the sentence is felt 

to be a condensed form of a complex sentence: To answer 

this question is difficult, or It is difficult to answer this question. 

It will be observed that the logical subject of is difficult is to answer this 
question. Indeed the case here described is an instance of a widespread 
tendency of many predicates to change their subjects, which has already 
been dealt with in Ch. II, but will receive fuller treatment in a paper 
specially devoted to this subject. 

In the condensed construction the predicate, of course, depends for person 
and number on the illogical subject. Thus To manage you (these children, 

l ) Jespersen, Mod. Eng. Gram., 15.832. 


is difficult becomes in its condensed form You (these children, etc.) 
are difficult to manage. 

The adverbial relation of the infinitive becomes evident from a com= 
parison of the construction with that instanced bv the following quotation, 
in which of — noun of action is placed after a predicative adjective, the 
combination bearing the same relation to it as the infinitive: 
Quitch=grass . . . has long creeping roots, which make it extremely difficult oj 
extirpation. G. C. Macaulay, Note to Ten.'s Ger. and E n , 902. 

As is shown by the following numerous quotations, the cons 
densed construction is a very common one. 

i. Her courage was beautiful to behold. Lytton, Pomp., V, Ch. IX, 150a. 

His luggage... was not difficult to earn'. Dick., Ol. Twist, Ch, IV, 50. 

The Gods are hard to reconcile. Ten., The Lotos* Eaters, 126. 

Mr. Faversham's position is indeed difficult to understand. Mks. Ward, The 

Mating of Lydia, III, Ch. XVIII, 362. 

Ladv Mary had reported that 'Companions' were almost as difficult to find 

as kitchenmaids. id., Cous. Phil., Ch. II, 32. 

Cvnthia's expression was hard to read, ib., Ch. VII, 109. 

He isn't easy to know, ib., Ch. II, 30. 

People were hard to love, different from birds and beasts and flowers, to love 

which seemed natural and easy. Galsworthy, Beyond, II, 105. 

The causes of this imperfect sympathy are easy to understand. Wait. Raleigh, 

Sam. Johnson, 30. 

This is important to observe. Sweet, Words, Logic and Gram., 3. 

Her disappointment was pathetic to witness. Temple Thurston, The City 

of Beautiful Nonsense, III, Ch. X. 302. 

This is impossible to do. Westm. Gaz., No. 8203, 3a. 

The treaty must in these respects do nothing which justifies Count Rantzau 

in saying that its demands are impossible to fulfil, ib., No. 8080, 2 a. 
ii.* There is hardly a page in this book that is not a delight to read. Westm. 

** William Smith is not an easy name to render famous. Sims, My Two Wives, 

Ch. I. 1. 

That, of course, would have been the reasonable, the gentlemanly thing to 

do. Mrs. Ward, The Mating of Lydia, I, Ch. IV, 87. 

This is an excellent thing to do. Times. 

This was not a wise thing to do. Westm. Ga:., No. 8203, 4a. 

That is not a proper observation to make in the House of Commons. Daily 

*** He was not much to look at. Ascott R. Hope, Old Pot. 

What sort of man is he to see? Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll, Ch. I, 18. 

81. Obs. I. The predicative adjective, especially worth, may be attended by a 
non=prepositional object. 

The church was one of those fine old English structure^ worth travelling 
to see. G. Eliot. Fel. Holt, I. Ch. Ill, 64. 

I have heard it said, a bridge is a good thing - worth helping to make, 
though half the men who worked at it were rogues, ib., Ch. XVI, 272. 

') De Drie Talen XXXII. No, 2 


The salmon is a valuable fish worth some expenditure of public money 
to preserve. Westm. Gaz., No. 8086, 10b. 

II. The infinitive may be an intransitive verb followed by a pre* 
position forming a kind of unit with it. 

Her neighbour was not difficult to talk to. Mrs. Ward, Cous. Phil., 
Ch. II, 29. 

This world will be intolerable to live in. Wells, Mr. Britling, I, 
Ch. V, § 13, 174. 

III. It will have been observed that in some of the above quotations 
the condensed construction hardly admits of being replaced by 
the expanded without detriment to idiom. This is distinctly the 
case in the following: 

Is my apparel sumptuous to behold? Shak., Henry VI, B, IV, 7, 106. 
It was sad to listen to. Ch. Bronte, Jane Eyre, Ch. XXV, 338. 
"My horse-, were never in harness", added the lady. "Bullfinch would 
kick the carriage to pieces, if you put him in the traces." — "But he 
is quiet to tide?" asked the civilian. Thack., Van. Fair, I, Ch. XXXII, 

These agricultural gentlemen are delicate customers fo deal with. Meredith, 

The Ordeal of Rich. Fev., Ch. X, 63. 

She was fair to look upon. Onions, Adv. Eng. Synt., § 67. 

Good men are so rare to find. Westm. Ga:., No. 8149, 4b. 

Note. Especially the collocation far to seek (= difficult to find). 

If you ask yourself what you mean by fame, riches or learning, the 
answer is far to seek. Stevenson, Walking Tours (Peacock, Sel. Es. 542). 
Examples of phrases tabooed by the fashion of the moment among some 
classes, but commonly employed by others, are not far to seek. Wyld, 
Growth, Ch. V, 64. 
The remedies are not far to seek. Westm. Ga;., No. 8503, lb. 

IV. When the necessity arises to indicate the logical subject of the 
infinitive, this is done by placing for - - (pro)noun before it. 

The old fool . . was trying to reach a point three inches beyond what 
was possible for him to reach. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat, Ch. III. 

Thus also in the expanded construction. 

What it is necessary (or the Commons to face is that they must either 
adopt these drastic measures or appeal to the country. Rev. of Rev., 
No. 203. 452 b. 

V. The illogical infinitive is also met with, 

a) after such a quasi;copula as to sound. 

The man trampled calmly over the child's body and left her screaming 
on the ground. It sounds nothing 10 hear, but it was hellish to see. 
Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll, Ch. i. 15. 

b) after an adjective or adjective equivalent in the function of 
predicative adnominal adjunct. 


Poor Rebecca felt it hard to bear. G. Eliot, Scenes, III. Ch III. 

Emily found the smile hard to bear. Gissing, A Life's Morn.. 

Ch. VII. 85. 

You find her troublesome to search, ib., Ch. VIII, 123. 

The Government ot a Parliamsntary party means what a popular 

statesman thinks it wise and feasible to do, he induces his Ministry 

to accept. Fred. Harrison, On Society, Ch. Ill, 75 

His loyalty did his mother's heart good to infnc.s.s. [HACK., Pend.. I, 

Ch. Ill, 3e>. 

c) as a constituent of an undeveloped adnominal clause. 

This wavering in her mistress's temper probably put something into 
the waiting=gentlew oman s head not necessary to mention to the sagacious 
reader. Fikld., Jos. And., I, Ch. VII, 15. 

VI. When the subject is attended by a lengthy adjunct, it is some; 
times followed by it, representing the infinitive with its logical 
object. The insertion of if reestablishes the logical relations be; 
tween the different elements of the sentence. Thus in: 

A form more rigid than Miss Starke's it was hard to conceive. Lytton, 
M% Novel, I, VI, Ch. XXV, 435. 

The amount of plunder he collected in this way it is impossible to esth 
mate. Mac, Bacon, (375b). 

The insertion of it, entailing the re * establishment of the logical 
relations between the different elements of the sentence, is distinctly 
the rule when the subject of the sentence, i. e. the logical object 
of the infinitive, is a subordinate question. It appears to be unusual 
when the subject is a relative pronoun. 

i Where the Doctor had studied, how he had required his medical 
knowledge, and where he had received his diploma, it is hard at 
present to say. Wash. Irv., Dolf Hevl. 

How the Vicar reconciled his answer with the strict notions he sup* 
posed himself to hold on these subjects it is beyond a layman's power 
to tell. Hardy, Tess, II, Ch. XIV, 122. 

What constitutes marriape it would be difficult exactly to define. 
Nineteenth Cent, No. 396, 259. 

What passed at this gathering it is not lawful for me to tell. Times 
No. 1823, 973d. 

What may be the ultimate outcome of the present situation ... it is 
impossible to forecast at the present moment. Westm. Gaz., 
No. 5249, lc. 

What amount of truth there is in this statement it is, of course, im> 
possible to say. ib.. No. 5190, 2 b. 

How the Duke of Burgundy must resent this horrible cruelty on the 
person of his near relative and ally, is for your Majesty to jv 
Scott, Quent. Durw , Ch. XXVIII, 361. 

How far I have followed these instructions ,<r whether they have 
availed me is not for me to decide. Byron, Fret to Mar. Ill 
(London Ed., 351a.) 

Why the Head should sway about and shout like that was impossible 
to conjecture. V. F. Benson. David Blaize, Ch. II. 30 


ii* I shall mention only a few points, which it is very easy for each 
one to find out for himself with a little careful observation. Wyld, 
Growth of Eng., Ch. II, 19. 
** It is a subject which will be requisite to consider carefully. Huxley, 
Man's Place in Nature and other Es., V, 182. 
The former terms (sc. voiced and voiceless) have a clear and precise 
meaning, which is quite easy to grasp. Wyld, Growth of Eng., 
Ch. II, 18. 

It was a characteristic bargain of the old diplomacy, which is hard 
to fit to the subsequent course of events. Westm. Gaz., No. 8062, 1 a. 
There is hardly a page in this book that is not a delight to read. ib. 

82. Although the grammatical headsword of the adverbial illogical 

active infinitive is mostly a predicative adjective or adjectival 

equivalent, it may also be a substantive or substantival equi* 

valent. Such a substantive mostly denotes some kind of measure. 

It required an immoderate expense to execute. Field., Tom Jones, VIII. 
The book has cost about £ 30 000 to produce. Daily News and Leader. 1 ) 

Note. Of particular interest is the following construction with the verb 
to take, wich admits of two logical expansions. Thus The letter took him 
an hour to write may be expanded into It took him an hour to write the 
letter and He took an hour to write, the letter. 

i. The young stranger comprehending in one glance the result of the observation 

which has taken us some time to express. Scott, Quent. Durw., Ch. II, 42. 

The letter took him long to write. Hall Caine, The Chris tian , 1,95. T. 

Such works take at least ten years to complete. Times. 

These questions will take a little time to answer yet. Ruskin, The Crown 

of Wild Olive, Work, 35. 
ii. To pen one took the writer an entire morning. L. B. Walford, Staysats 

homes, Ch. X. 
iii. As he was a short, fat man, he took some time to mount into the saddle. 

Wash. Irv. Dolf Heyl. 

The discussion of further modifications of which the above combination 
admits must be held over for a subsequent treatise. 

83. The illogical active infinitive may also represent a kind of pre* 
positional object, to corresponding to final for. Thus especially 
after such adjectives as fit, good. Compare 85, Obs. III. 

This apple is not fit to eat. This water is not good to drink. Mason, Eng. 

Gram. 84 , § 372. 

She is not fit to mention in the same breath as the darling girl I love and 

reverence. B. Eardley, Natalie's Secret.') 

Shredded atora is in tiny particles like rice, prepared ready to mix with the 

flour. Daily News and Lead. 2 ) 

') De Drie Talen, XXXI, No. 12. 
3 ) De Drie Talen, XXXII, No. 2. 


Note. <-) With fit to eat, as used in the above quotation, compare fit 

to be helped as in the next, in which to be fit to deserve which 

requires the infinitive to be placed in the passive voice. 

You're nol fit to be helped. Galsworthy, The Silver Box, I. 33. I d om 

pare: The man who can break the laws of hospitality, and tempt the wife of 
his friend, deserves to be branded as the pest of society. Shik.. School for 
Scand., IV : | 

,1) Such an adjective as fit would in Present English be inserted before 
the illogical active infinitive in a construction like that instanced by: 
This disturbed skv is not to walk in. Sh\k., Jul. Czs., I, 3, -10 

Compare Abbot (Shak. Gram. 3 , §405), who observes "We might perhaps 
Say, This is not .i .sir (fit) to walk under, but not This sky is not (fit) 
to walk in". 

84. Already in Earlv Modern English we find occasional instances 
of the adverbial illogical active infinitive being replaced by the 
passive infinitive. Shakespeare uses the two constructions sue* 
cessively in: 

If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do. chapels had been 
churches, and poor men's cottages princes' palaces. It is a good divine that 
follows his own instructions: I can easier teach twenty what were good to be 
done than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching Merch of Yen.. 
I, 2, 13-19. 

Also in later English, down to that of the present day, the 
passive construction is not uncommon. Although, in going 
through the quotations with either construction, one sometimes 
fancies that change into the alternative would not give good 
idiom, it is difficult to determine any principle bv which writers 
have been guided in choosing either one or the other. 

'Sblood, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe Sii\k llaml, 

III, 3. 389. 

She is harder to be understood than a piece of Egyptian antiquity < ongreve, 

Love for Love, IV. 3, (287) 

The hand=writing is very difficult to be read. Bosw., Life of [ohns 2 th 

The fate of Fergus seemed hard to 6e averted. Scott, Wav„ t h. l.XYII, 166a, 

It now became necessary for the party to consider what was best to be done. 

Jane Austen, Pers., Ch. XII. 116. 

Dolf, who was at the mercy of chance, was not hard to be persuaded. Wash. 

Irv., Dolf Ileyl (Stoe.. Handl.. I. 138.) 

This was not so easy to be done. Troi... The Warden, Ch. VIII, 

Is that a calamity hard to be borne? Ten., .Maud, I, XIII, 1. 

But Enid answer'd, harder to be moved, Than hardest tvr.ints in their day of 

power, id.. Ger. and En., 693. 

It was what the mother wished, to be alone with this stranger, whose story must 

be a sorrowful one, yet was needful to be told. G. Eliot, Dan. Der., I, III, 

Ch. XX, 512 


It was plain to be seen that everybody loved him, El. Glyn, The Reason 

why, Ch. XXII, 203. 

By the year 1912 the leading lines of the Pan=German advance were plain to be 

seen. Ninet. Cent, and After, No. 49b, 1104. 

Witnesses could not be got who were necessary fo be examined. Daily Chronicle. 

Note the curious construction in: 

The rubric expressly states that ... it shall suffice that the bread be such as is 
usual fo be eaten, ib. 

85. Obs. I. When followed by the inverted subject, i. e. a prepositional phrase 

with by (Sweet, N. E. Gr., § 313), the passive voice is, of course, 

Our own language afford'- many (sc. writers) of excellent use and instruct 
tion, finely calculated to sow the seeds of virtue in youth, and very easy 
to be comprehended by persons of modest capacity. Field., Jos. And., 
I, Ch. I, 1. 

II. Also when the adjective is preceded by too, the passive voice 
seems to be peculiarly apposite. Usage is, however, divided. It 
will be observed that the adverbial relation of the infinitive be= 
comes changed. 

i. The burden is too heavy to be borne. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XI, 183. 

The temptation . . . was too great to be resisted. (?), The Cap of 

Youth, Ch. XXI.') 
ii. This contraction is too vague fo define precisely. Dan. Jones, Eng. 

Phon., § 398, Footnote. 

Ihe whole thing is really too extraordinary fo believe. Le Queux, An 

Eve for an Eye, Ch. I. 1 ) 

The amber gloom cast by fringed curtains too heavy to pull back from 

the windows Daily News and Lead. 1 ) 

III. After such adjectives as fit, good, etc., the passive construction 
seems, on the whole, to be the one preferred. Thus in the follo- 
wing quotations it could hardly be exchanged for the active. 
Compare 83. 

It is fit to be placed on the cylinder of the printing=press. Good Words. 
You're not fit to be helped. Galsworthy, The Silver Box, I, 3, (33). T. 
Asking to see books which are not ready to be seen. (?) The Cap 
of Youth, Ch. Y!. 1 ) 

86. It will have been observed that in such a sentence as The diffi= 
culty is easy to avoid (or to be avoided) the adjective logically 
modifies the following infinitive adverbially Accordingly we 
sometimes find easy changed into easily, curiously enough, only 
in connexion with the passive infinitive. Thus instead of the 
above we sometimes find such a construction as The difficulty 

') De Drie Talen, XXXII, No. 2. 


is easilv to be avoided. So far as the available evidence goes, 
it is practically only easily which is thus found before the passive 
infinitive, its opposite difficultly being a word of rare occurrence, 
and hardly being avoided on account of its ambiguity. One 
instance of hardly -\- passive infinitive has, however, come to 

i. The insolence and resentment of which he is accused were not easily to be 
avoided by a great mind. |ohnson, Life of Rich. Savage (Walt. Raleigh, 

Sam. Johnson , 19). 

(He) in not so easily h) be shaken from the lasting attachment founded on 
esteem. Ch. Lamb, Es of II. A Bachelor's Complaint. 
Situated as the insurgents were, the loss of a man of parts and energy was 
not easily to be repaired. Mac, Hist., II, Ch. V, 146. 

The nature of her influence over James is not easily to be explained, ib., 
Ch. VI, 303. 

Jack Raplev is not easily to be knocked off his feet. MiSS MiTFORD, Our 
Village, Ch. II, 25. 

She could see Keith's eyes, so easily to be read, showing out the impulses 
that crossed and possessed his mind. Frank SwiNNERTON, Nocturne, II. 
Ch. IX, V, 1^3. 
ii. He (sc. Lord Beresford) was a product of an old school, a type which, as 
the old order changes, is more and more hardly to be found. Westm. Gaz., 
No. 8179, 4a. 

87. After the phrase if needs not we find either the active or the 
passive voice, the choice, apparently, depending upon wether it 
represents the infinitive with its enlargements or a subordinate 
clause. Compare 7, b. 

i. It needs not to tell what she said and promised on behalf of Nelly Bi 

AH Sorts and Cond. of Men, Ch. XLVIII, 318. 
ii. It needs not to be said that much which is true of our country at that time 

is true also of others. Mary Bateson, Medieval England, Prer. 

Note. The function of it in the above collocation is uncertain. It 
may be understood as the representative of the infinitive or subordinate 
clause, but also as an indefinite pronoun. This last view will appear 
plausible from a comparison with such sentences as: 

It needs no witness to his deficiencies The Nation, XX, 9, 30'.i 
It was a speech which it needed no small courage for a politician in Mr 
quith's position to make. Times. 

88. Such a sentence as It was intended to issue a cheaper edition 
of the work, in which a passive sentence with anticipating it is 
followed bv an active infinitive^clause containing a non^prepo* 
sitional object, may be converted into A cheaper edition of the 
work is intended to be issued. This construction, in which a 


passive infinitive is made to depend on a passive verb in the 
head^sentence, and which may, therefore, he called a double 
passive, may be due to a general tendency, prevailing in English 
from quite early times, to replace a non* personal construction 
by a personal one. 

Awkward as the construction is, it answers a useful purpose, 
since in not a few cases it would be difficult to find a more 
suitable one conveying the same meaning and falling in with 
the structure of the discourse. Thus for The Court was ordered 
to be cleared (Times) we could hardly substitute It was ordered 
to clear the court. Exchanging the passive for the active voice 
in the headssentence would, indeed, make for better idiom, but 
this would defeat the ends of the passive voice, whose main 
purpose is to eliminate the necessity of mentioning the person 
or thing from which the action proceeds. Thus The judge or= 
dered the court to he cleared is certainly better English than 
the Court was ordered to be cleared, but it may be taken ex* 
ception to as bringing in an undesirable personal element. Also 
in some of the following quotations interference with the double 
passive would appear to give rise to difficulties. For discussion 
see also Stof., E. S., XXXI. 

A satisfaction which was but feebly attempted to be concealed under a cold 

invitation to her to defer her departure. Jam Austen, Sense and Sens., 22. 

Chartism was left lo be represented by an open air meeting and a petition to 

Parliament. McCarthy, Short Hist., Ch. VIII, 89. 

A distinction is attempted to be drawn between the indigent and those in com; 

fortable circumstances. Rev. of Rev., 1899, Jan. 16, 40a. 1 ) 

I lis perfect honesty and loyalty to the Church of England are left to be called 

in question only by fanatics. Lit. World, 1894, Nov. 9, 354a. 

Newcastle takes its name from the castle which was begun to be rebuilt by Rufus. 

ib., 1899, Feb. 3, 94b.') 

Mr. Winston Churchill's appointment to the Colonial Office is not yet officially 

announced, but is generally assumed to have been arranged. Westm. Gaz., 

No. 8597, ba 

No building is allowed to be erected without special permission, except it be 

constructed of brick. Times 

Of the brutal and frequent murders committed by the "Black and Tans" no 

mention is allowed to be made in the English Press, id., No. 2304, 159a. 

Note. «) In not a few double passives the first passive expresses some 
form of necessity. 

This was obliged lo be repeated before it could be believed. Jam Austen,. 
Emma, Ch. VIII, 58. 1 . 

') Stop., E S . XXXI, 110. 


One of cm (sc. chairs), with long service and hard usage, positively lost his 

es: — he got so crazy that he was obliged to be burnt. Iln k . Pickw., 
i h XIV, 123 

The fuller form is obliged to be retained. Mows, Elem. Les. of Eng Accid., "1 

The Prince is prudent to refuse to enter into negotiations that are bound to bt 

detected. Marj. Bowen, I will maintain, I, Ch. \ r , 65. 

Tilings had been rather better of late, and no more belongings had bun forced 

to be parted u-ith. Hi. Gns. Ilalcyone, Ch. X, 83. 

\ <tice is required to be given at least ten days previously, not only of the hour 

and place of meeting, but of the business to be brought forward. Bkkk, Amer. 

immonw., I, Mifc>. 1 ) 
Ladies . . are required to be proposed and seconded by two members of the 
club. Times, No 2304, 161c. 

Like any other passive, the double passive may, of course, be followed 
bv the inverted subject in the shape of a prepositional phrase consisting 
of by — (pro)noun (Sweet, N. E. Gr., § 313). 

An alley which ran parallel with the very high wall on that side the garden 
was forbidden to be entered by the pupils. Ch. Bronte, Villette, Ch. XII, 131. 

89. Also the desire of discarding the object of an action from the 
discourse has, in the latest English, given rise to a peculiar 
passive infinitive construction, of which there is no parallel in 
either Dutch or German. Thus such a sentence as This lens 
will enable a man to take pictures in rainy weather may be changed 
into This lens will enable pictures to be taken in rainy weather, 
the object of the infinitive phrase having become the subject 
of the finite verb in the head^sentence. 

This passive construction is, no doubt, an extension of a variety 
of the accusative -\- infinitive, such as He ordered the house to 
be pulled down, which goes back to He ordered his men to pull 
down the house. Comparing two such sentences as He ordered 
his men to pull down the house and He enabled his men to pull 
down the house, we find that they differ materially as to the 
grammatical relations existing between some of its constituent 
elements. While in the former his men represents the indirect 
(or person) object and to pull down the house the direct (or 
thing) object of ordered, these elements stand in the latter for 
the direct and the prepositional object of enabled respectively. 
Owing to its novelty such a passive construction as I his lens 
will enable pictures to be taken in rainy weather strikes us as 
illogical, but it is hardlv more so than He ordered the house 
to be pulled down and similar accusatives passive infinitive, 

l ) Sroi , E S , XXXI, 110. 


to which long usage has made us accustomed. For discussion 
see also Stof., E. S., XXXI, III. 

This lens will enable pictures to be taken in rainy weather. II. Lund. News. 

Railways will enable the fruit to be sent to market with the necessary expedition. 


The big table enables maps and documents to be laid out with ease. Strand 

Mag., No. 325, 16a. 

As her knowledge of it (sc. English) was limited, a certain amount of imagination 

was necessary to enable her to be understood. Beatr. Har., Ships, I, Ch. XV, 85. 

The new construction appears to be practically confined to the 
verb to enable, but will in time, perhaps, be extended to other 
verbs. The following quotation, although not admitting of being 
reduced to an active sentence of the above type, may be appre* 
hended as another instance. 

To meet the new conditions new arrangements will require to be made. Graphic, 
No. 2691, 772a. 

(The meeting of the new conditions will require us (you or them, etc.) to make 
new arrangements. It will be observed that in this paraphrase to meet the new 
conditions is placed in another grammatical function.) 

Note. «) To be enabled being practically equivalent to to be able, the 
latter phrase is sometimes substituted for the former, giving rise to such 
an utterly indefensible construction as instanced in: 

The hypothesis that Shakespeare was joint=author with Fletcher (sc. of the Two 
Noble Kinsmen), which on internal evidence is not able to be sustained. Lit. 
World, 1897, April 25, 391c 

1 fear that, owing to the New Budget arrangements, the legacy for a new church 
at Aldershot will not be able to be paid. II. Lond. News, No. 5671, 512b. 

p) The use of capable of -\- passive gerund in place of able to -f- passive 
infinitive, although also yielding questionable idiom cannot, from a 
grammatical point of view, be reasonably objected to: capable being often 
predicated of non=personal subjects. 

The amount of wealth which is capable of being transferred from any country 
to any other country is a strictly limited quantity. Westm. Gaz., No. 8605, 2a. 




The Grammatical Nature of the Gerund §§ 1-4 

The Verbal and Substantival Features of the Gerund §§ ^— 24 

The Verbal Features of the Gerund ... §§6 — 9 

The Substantival Features of the Gerund §§ 10 — 16 

The Gerund exhibiting at once Verbal and Substantival 

Features §§ 17 — 24 

Further Syntactical Observations about the Gerund §§ 25—37 

The Distinction of Voice neglected §§ 25 — 29 

The Distinction of Tense neglected §§ 30—51 

The Gerund followed by an Adnominal Adjunct with of §§ 32—35 
The Gerund preceded by the Common Case of a 

(Pro)noun or the objective of a Personal Pronoun. .. §§ 34 — 57 

Compound Gerunds §§38—42 

The Gerund compared with the other Verbals 

§§ 43-52 

The Gerund compared with the Infinitive §§ 45—45 

The Gerund compared with the Noun of Action §§46 4S 

The Gerund compared with the Present Participle. ... §§ 49—51 

The Gerund compared with the Past Participle § 52 

The Distinction between Gerund and Verbal Noun 

not justifiable §§55-57 

Historical Survey of the Rise of the Gerund §§ 58— 65 



1. a) The gerund is a substantival form of the verb which is inter; 

mediate between the infinitive and the noun of action; i. e. 
it is of a less distinctly verbal nature than the infinitive, and 
of a more distinctly verbal nature than the noun of action. 
b) All verbs have a gerund, only those which have no infinitive 

2. Gerund forms which correspond to complex predicates (Ch. I, 15) 
may be called complex gerunds. They include: 

1. Such as contain some auxiliary of voice or tense, e. g. : being 
punished, having punished. 

2. Such as contain a verb denoting a form of compulsion, e. g. : 
having to return. 

The having to fight with boisterous wind took off his attention. Dick., 
Chimes, I. 

lie dreaded the having to retain almost as much as going forward. S\m. Benin, 

Erewohn. Ch. III. 20 

3. a) Complex gerunds should be distinguished from compound 

gerunds, i. e. such as are made up of a noun, adverb or 
preposition verb, e.g.: horse=breeding, bringing-up (or up= 
bringing), listening to. For detailed discussion see 38—42. 
b) The same name may be given to the gerunds of wordsgroups 
forming a kind of unit and consisting of: 
l)a copula ~r nominal (or nominal equivalent), e. g. : being 
poor, remaining poor, becoming poor. 

. The clerk went down a slide on Cornhill, at the end of a lane of boys, 
twenty times, in honour of its being (^hristmas'cve. Dick., Christm 
Car; I . 

All the drains were choked, it appeared, from their being so very narrow. 
Marryat, Olla Pod rid a. 

I should prefer being a lady's maid to remaining at home. .Mkn An- 
A Life Int., ( 1, XVI, 266. 
ii Instead oi remaining silent, he soon took up the word again, 
iii. To think of your turning book'hunter. Lytton, Caxtons, XVII, Ch. I, 450. 
It was difficult enough getting acquainted with her. JACK LONDON, 
Martin Kden, I, Ch. II. 22 

Note. It is, of course, more or less objectionable, to call these 
combinations compound gerunds when they contain, as they not 
unfrequently do, an adverbial modifier, as in: 

I told him of the church's being SO very well worth seeing. Jam A 
Pers . Ch, XIV 133 


2) a verb -f~ nominal (or nominal equivalent) in the function 
of predicative adnominal adjunct, e. g.: making known, 
keeping bright. 

Greek scholars who first taught Greek in Italy found that what was demanded 
at their hands was not so much the teaching of the language as the waking 
known its thought. Edinb. Rev., Oct. 1905. ') 

She also took pride in keeping bright the silver skillet. (?), The Mischief* 
maker, Ch. I. 

3. a verb -f- noun in the function of non=prepositional object, 
e. g. : paying heed, taking notice, catching hold, paying respect, 
doing honour, etc. 

Journalists of the most violently opposed political creeds vied with each 
other in doing honour to their English guests. Rev. of Rev., No. 207, 239b. 
No line is any longer drawn between combatant and non=combatant in 
many of the modern methods of waging war. Manch. Guard., V, 
No. 'lb, 302d. 

Compound gerunds may be made complex, i. e. made to 
show the distinction of voice or tense. 

This, Sir Lucius, I call being UUused. Shhk., Riv., Ill, 4, (252). 
Tennyson disliked being lionised or run after. Horace enjoyed being pointed 
out as he walked along the street. Daily News, No. 19 782, 5g. 
The first of these emotions ... is an instinctive and almost universal 
rebellion against being bullied, trampled on and dictated to by Western men. 
Westm. Gaz„ No. 8603, 5a. 

4. Gerunds may also be formed direct from: 

a) nouns, e. g. : ballooning, black = berrying, fowling, gardening, 
nutting, shopping, soldiering, etc. 

The past year has been a particularly eventful one in South African banking. 

Times, No. 2299, 60b. 

He saw the dangers of day-dreaming, id., Lit. Sup., No. 993, 49d. 

Upper Silesia ... is perhaps the wealthiest mining district in the whole of 

Europe, ib., No. 992, 35a. 

Note. These ing=forms are also frequent enough in the function of 
present participle, but the other verbal forms corresponding to them, 
if they are at all used, must be set down as back-formations. 
Southampton went soldiering in Erance. Times, Lit. Sup., No. 909, 9b. 

b) adverbs, e. g. : homing (= home-coming), innings, offing, outing. 

She professed her entire indifference as to the route of her outing. E. F. Benson, 
Mr. Teddy, Ch. I, 25. 

Note. Nonce-words in ing which have the same grammatical function 
as gerunds are formed freely on words or phrases of many kinds, e. g. : 

') Kruisinga, Handb.*, § 255. 


oh'ing, hear-hearing. pooh*poohing, how*d'ye doing ■ vising 'how do 
you do?')i (I do not believe in all this) pinting ( having pints 
beer) Murray, s v. ing, 1. 



5. The gerund is of a variable nature: i. e. sometimes it exhibits 
onlv such features as are peculiar to verbs, sometimes only such 
as are peculiar to substantives, sometimes at once such as are 
peculiar to verbs and such as are peculiar to substantives. 
Again in many positions the gerund is practically equivalent to, 
and even interchangeable with the infinitive on the one hand, 
or the noun of action on the other. 

a) The grammatical features of verbs are: 

1. that thev may be accompanied bv objects and adverbial adjuncts 

2. that either bv inflection or by periphrasis thev mav show the 
distinctions of tense, voice, mood, person, and number. 

Those mentioned under 2) are the most typical. 

b) The grammatical features of nouns are: 

1. that thev may be used in a variety of functions in the sentence, 
i. e. as subject, nominal part of the predicate, non = prepositional 
object, adverbial adjunct (as in He came home, He came yesterday) ; 

2. that thev mav be preceded by a preposition and form with it a 
prepositional object, an adverbial adjunct or an adnominal adjunct : 

3. that in the above functions thev mav be modified by adjectives, 
articles, adnominal pronouns and numerals, nouns in the genitive 
or in the common case; 

4. that they may be used as adnominal modifiers, either in the genitive 
or in the common case. 

Note. The variable nature of the gerund has its parallel in that 
of the participles, which exhibit in various degrees of prominence 
the features characteristic of either verbs or adjectives 

The Verbal Features of the Gerund. 

6. The verbal characteristics of the gerund are the same as those 
of the infinitive and the present participle. 

7. Like these verbals, it may be attended by a non* prepositional 
or prepositional object, or by an adverbial adjunct, or by both 
an object and an adverbial adjunct. For illustration see alsc 
Ch. VIII, 77. 


i Hating ones neighbouris forbidden bv the Gospel. Mason, Eng. Gram. 84 , § 368. 

Making Germany pay in coai is having a disastrous effect on our mining 

industry. Westm. Gaz., No. 8603, 2a. 

There is nothing as bad as parting with one's friends. Jam Austen, Pride 

and Prej., Ch. LII, 322 

Talking of great Decisions and the Muses reminds me of our good Rienzi s 

invitation to the l.ateran. Lytton, Rienzi, II, Ch. II, 83. 
ii Nature's chief masterpiece is writing well. Pope, Es. on Crit., Ill, 724. 

Lying late in the morning is a great shortener of life. Leigh Hunt, A Few 

I h oughts on SI ee p 

Staring about aimlessly will do no good. Onions, Adv. Eng. Synt., § 180. 

She finds lying up so much very irksome Wells, Ann Veronica, Ch. I, 

§ 3, 25 
m. Pushing the work so vigorously will soon produce results. 

This is driving me into <i corner. Dor. Ger., The Eternal Woman, Ch. XIV 

8. Like these verbals, it may show the distinctions of: 

a) voice, e. g. : active gerund showing, passive gerund being 
shown. Only the passive gerund requires illustration. Corns 
pare 25-29. 

she begged the favour oi being shown to her room. Dick., Cop., Ch. IV, 24a. 

I don't like being asked to make a speech. Sweet., N. E. Cir., § 325. 

If we escaped being noticed and punished, it was only because Mr. Webb was 

away at a wedding or funeral most of the time, id., Old Chapel. 

1 lis great misfortune was being ploughed for the army. Pintko, Iris, I, (10) 

She objects to being ordered. Graph., No. 2310. 402a. 

There is nothing the House of Commons resents more bitterly than being 

jockeyed. Rev of Rev., No. 199, 8b. 

One of the real dangers in Belgium was being shot by one's own sentries 

Eng. Rev.. No. 72, 495 

There's nothing quite so awfully hard as being forgiven. Morley Roberts, 

lime and Thomas Waring, Ch. XXXI, 305. 

He seemed to dread the prospect of being sent to his native country. Gals 

worthy, Tatterdemalion, IV, I, 96. 

b) tense, but only to show that its time^sphere is thought of as 
anterior to that of the predication with which it is connected, 
e.g.: imperfect gerund showing, perfect gerund having shown. 
Only the perfect gerund needs illustration. Compare 30— 51. 

! acknowledge having been at such a meeting. Scott, Wav, Ch. XXXI, 94b. 

My mother, who never loved Mrs. H.. now said that she should repent all 

her life having allowed me to spend so much of my time with that odious. 

ungrateful, woman Thack., Sam. Titm., Ch. XIII, 176. (Observe that in 

strict grammar never loved should have been had never loved.) 

I am glad of having met you. Bain, Com p., 170. 

He mentioned having read it in the paper. Mrs. Alexander, For his Sake, 

II, Ch. XVI, 283. 

My companion seemed to regret having invited me. G. Gissing, Christopherson. 

If they are proud of /taring beaten them, they are still prouder o( having made 

them their political brethren. Graph. 


c) voice and tense together, e. g. perfect passive gerund having 

been shown. 

I relieved you from the bondage of having been bom a [ew G Eliot, Dan 

Dei . HI. VII, Ch. 1.1. 124 

Several .noblemen and gentlemen wire there already mounted, displeased .it 

having bun kept waiting. "Sir Walter Scott" Readers for Young 

People. The Story of the Ah hot. 

The fad that Mrs. Andrew had seen only yesterday .1 stranger woman 

talking to the house agent . . constituted a strong case for the house ha\ 

been let. 1 I Benson, Mr. Teddy, Ch. II. 39 

9. Obs. I. Like the infinitive and the present participle, the gerund is in; 

capable of indicating that its rime* sphere is posterior to that of 
the predication with which it is connected, the imperfect gerund 
being used in this case in like manner as in sentences in which 
the two timesspheres are coincident. 

I'm so afraid of mamma hearing. Agn. \m> 1 ( ujtle, Diamond cut 
Paste. II, C.h. I. 117. 

lie is afraid of mv breaking down Dor. Gerard, The Eternal Woman, 
Ch. XX. 

It looks like being a very interesting autumn season M .inch Guard., 
V, No. 14. 273b. 

Phrases expressing immediate futurity blended with some other 
notion are, of course, frequent enough, and mav, in a manner, 
be regarded as substitutes for the auxiliaries of the future tense. 
Such are to be about (or going) to, to be on the point of, to be in 
act to, etc. See my Treatise on Tense, 68—71. 

The news of his being about to return home instead of having been slain 
hv the enemy. Murray, s. v. big, 2. 

He wished that before he called, he had realized more fully than he did 
the pleasure of being about to call. Hardy, Under the Greenwood 

Tree, I. Ch. IX. 82 

II. The tense of the gerund is not affected by a change of time-sphere 
in the predication with which it is connected. See also Tense, 
12, c; and compare Infinitive 57, a; and Participles, 3, Note /*. 

I he always meets with some accident. 
In coming come 1 he always met with some accident 

' he will meet with some accident 

III \s will be shown below (25—31), the distinctions oi both voice 
and tense are often disregarded. 


10. The substantival features which may be observed in the gerund 
are, in the main, the same as those of ordinary nouns. In some 
cases these features are shared by the infinitive, in some they 
are not. 


11. Like the infinitive, the gerund may be used in the function of 
subject, nominal part of the predicate and non* prepositional 
object. For a comparison of the areas of incidence of the two 
verbals see Ch. XIX. 

Talking mends no holes Pro v. 

i. This is anticipating. Stead's Annual of 1906, 24b. 

ii 1 he curate dropped calling. Em. Bronte, Wuth. Heights, Ch. VIII, 35a 
I have only just finished dusting. Ch. Bronte, |ane Eyre, Ch. IV, il 
lie succeeded in abolishing flogging. Rev. of Rev., No. 195, 228a. 

Note the peculiar construction in: 

Whenever Diggory sees eating going forward, ecod! he's always wishing tor 
a mouthful himself. Goldsmith, She stoops, II, (178) 

12. Unlike the infinitive, the gerund may be preceded by any 
preposition to form with it a prepositional object, an adverbial 
adjunct or an adnominal adjunct, the former tolerating no other 
preposition than to before it in Standard English. See Infini* 
tive, 3, Obs. III. 

i. You must hear us talk, and not think oj talking, you must see us drink, 
and not think of drinking; you must see us eat, and not think of eating. 
Goldsmith, She stoops, II, (178). 

She was deaf | To blessing or to cursing save from one. Ten., G e r. and E n., 5 78, 
I shall begin by reading the earlier will. G. Eliot, Mid., Ch. XXXV, 247 
Three hours she gave to stitching. Cii. Bronte, Jane Eyre, Ch. XXI, 286. 

n She had laid her little bag of documents upon the table on coming in. 
Dick., Bleak House. Ch V, i5. 

In passing I may remark that this young lady has done a thing which is, 
in its way, little short of heroic. Rid. Hag., Mees. Will, Ch. XXI, 224. 

ni No person ever had a better knack .it hoping than I Goldsmith, Vic, 
Ch. XX, (362). 

If I had the money for studying, I should go in for medicine Dok. Ger., 
1'he Etern. Worn., Ch. XI 
You would like to decide your own hour of getting up. ib., Ch. XI. 

Note. The gerund of an intransitive verb may be preceded by weak 

I was willing to trust to there being no harm in her. [ani Austen, Emma, 

Ch. VIII, 5 L ). 

He spoke of there being a danger. Onions, Adv. Eng. Synt., $ 180. 

13. Unlike the infinitive, the gerund may be preceded by all the 
ordinary noun>modifiers, i. e. by: 

a) an adjective or an adjective equivalent. 

He was greeted with vociferous cheering. Dick., Chuz., Ch. XXXV, 281a 
Many people had, after hard begging, thrown her pence. Edna I.yall, We Two , 
I. 21. T. 


Pioneers engaged in hand'to'hand fighting with the Mahsuds I imes 
■ 23a 

The following idioms .ire of sonic special interest 

i. It u.iv easy talking till you came to that G. Eliot, Mill, II, Ch III 14b 

It is fine talking, id.. Scenes, I. Ch VI, 47 
ii rhat was birrer hearing to both parents .V n \nd Eg Castle, Diamond 

cut Paste, III. Ch. VII, 290 
iii. All seems smooth sailing until the Opposition detect a chance oi embarrassing 

the Government Westm Gaz., No. 5 2 s s , 4h 
iv. Easy writing makes hard reading. Times. Lit. Sup, N'o '-> c > i ->, 14s>b 

b) the definite or the indefinite article. For illustration see als< 
Ch. XXXI, 37. 

i I shall never forget the waking next morning, the being cheerful and fresh 

tor the tirst moment, and then the being weighed down by the stale and 
dismal oppression or remembrance I)n k , Cop., Ch. IV. 30a 
The killing goes on; the search for arms, in spite of the Fulmination of 
the death penalty, has had little or no result Westm. Gaz . No. 8597, 2b 
You have to present a fairly accurate opinion upon the play and the 
acting, ib.. 6a. 
ii. It is rather a hovering and nodding on the borders ol sleep than sleep 
itself. Leigh Hunt, A Few Thoughts on Sleep 
.1 knocking at the door was heard Dkk.. Christm Car., II 
It seemed doubtful whether we should escape a wetting "limes 
No. 1809, 701a. 

The following idioms are or some special interest 

i.* I might have had this prire for the asking. Thack,, Pend., I, Ch. XXIY, 253 
1 The great rivers swarmed with fish for the taking, id., Yirg., Ch. Ill, 27. 

The story of Mulcahy always took an hour in the telling, id., Sam. 

Titm., Ch. I, 8. 

The story . . . has lost nothing in the telling. Mkv Ward. Cousin 

Phil., Ch. X. 154. 

The story is rather long, but must not be spoilt in the telling. limes 

No. 2 2-17. lb. 
ii. I do not remember that he had so bad <i heating. Times, No. 2301, ^ Kl s 

That's a bad hearing. DlCK . Cop., Ch. IV. 22a 

Sulivan could scarcely obtain «i hearing. Mac, (live, (529a) 

Note. •') Unusual is the use of either article before the gerund 
after worth, as- in: 

i. "How was it?" — "Well worth the seeing' Shak., Henry VIII, IV, 1 
It was worth the getting-up'for. Hob II HINSON, (Westm Gaz., 
No. 6011. 2c I 

The secret . was well worth the giving, though how the public may 
receive the gift. I do not know. Westm. Ga:.. No Sr>27, 6b 

ii. We had . . . nothing for our millions but newspapers not worth a reading 
Farquhar, Recruit. Of.. II, 1. (266). 

,-<) It may be observed that modification bv an adjective placed 
before the gerund, and modification bv an adverb placed after 


it, often has practically the same effect. Thus / do not like early 
rising and / do not like rising early only differ in so far as the 
latter emphasizes the earliness of the rising more emphatically than 
the former. For the rest the difference is chiefly one of style. 

i Those matters belong rather to the subject of early rising than of sleep. 

Leigh Hunt, A Few Thoughts on Sleep. 
ii. Rising early is a wholesome practice. Mason, Eng. Gram. 84 , § 260, N. 

Nor can it be maintained that placing the modifier before the 
gerund inexpugnably settles its grammatical function, inasmuch as 
adverbs of quality in ly may also be found before it. Compare 
Ch. VIII, 77. 

I was so afraid of Mr. Jarndyce's suddenly disappearing. Dick., Bleak 
House, Ch. VI, 39. (Placing suddenly after the gerund would give it 
undue stress.) 

Also the difference between This vigorous pushing of the work will 
soon produce results and Pushing the work so vigorously will soon 
produce results (Curme, E. S. XLV, 36 a) is chiefly one of emphasis, 
the latter implying greater vigour than the former, even if the 
adjective receives more stress than the following noun. 

c) adnominal pronouns and numerals, including phrases which 
have the value of numerals. 

i. This giving back of dignity for dignity seemed to open the sluices of 

feeling that Boldwood had as yet kept closed. Hardy, Far from the 

Madding Crowd, Ch. XIX, 145. 

Even amid this wilful bottling of all talk ... a mirthful hour has been 

provided by Lord Charles Beresford. Westm. Gaz., No. 5249, 4 b. 
ii. What moving about of lanterns in the courtyard and stables, though the 

moon was shining. Tiiack, Pend., I, Ch. Ill, 36. 
iii.* She could read any English book without much spelling. Goldsmith. Vi c, 

Ch. I. 

1 hey (sc. the servants) want as much training as a company of recruits the 

first day's muster, id., She stoops, I, (171). 

I he font, reappearing, j From the raindrops shall borrow, | But to us comes 

no cheering, | To Duncan no morrow. Scott, Lady III, Coronach, I. 

There is hardly any desiring to refresh such a memory as that. Jane Austen, 

Emma, Ch.V, 35. T. 

"The man's a great deal past the average, y"ou know", cried Mr. Filer, 

breaking in as if his patience would bear .some frying. Dick, Chi mes , s I, 35. 

There was undeniable truth in Beatrice Redwing's allusion to his much 

talking. Gissisc, A Life's Morn., Ch. Ill, 36. 

He used to play croquet all August, when there was no hunting and no 

shooting. E. F. Benson, Mr. Teddy, Ch. II, 47. 

The world has seen nothing like this grim settling down to the suffering 

of death, wounds and privations beyond all imagining. Westm. Gaz., 

No. 7577, 4 b. 

No one fancies that he can . . . criticise Chinese poetry without .some little 

training for the task, ib., No. 8597, 6 a. 


I retired to the front (s>.. oi the premises) to do some thinking. Punch 

No 3810, 66 a 
' For a term or two he Stayed on in Oxford, acting as mv private secretary' 

and doing .1 certain amount of teaching and lecturing tor the Workers 

Educational Association. Knows, The Trench Kevol. in Fng Hist 

I n t rod. 

We should have seen .1 great deal oj acting. Westm via;.. No. 8597, 6a 
iv Oliver, having had by this time as much of the outer coat of dirt which 

encrusted his face and hands removed, as could be scrubbed off in om 

washing, was led into the room by his benevolent protectress Dl( K., 

01. Twist, Ch. II. 2b. 
v. It (sc. the bill) is then circulated, and a dav is fixed for the second reading 

Royal Readers (Sroi., I.eesb. I. 48). 

d) a genitive or possessive pronoun, 1. standing by way of sub* 
ject to the predication it expresses. For illustration see also 
Ch. XXIV, 19. 

i She played till Fanny's eyes, straying to the window on the weather's being 
evidently fair, spoke what she felt must be done. J\sh Austen, Mansf. 
Park, Ch. XXII, 213. 
Paul was quite alarmed at Mr. Feeder's yawning. Dick., Dumb., Ch. XII, 104 

ii. I heard oi his running away. Mason, Kng. Gram.**, s; 4^4. 

The following idioms deserve some special mention: 

i. I promised to eat all of his killing. Siiak., Much ado, I, 1. 

My daughters undertook to adorn the walls with pictures of their own 

designing. Goldsmith, Vic, Ch. IV, (255). 

Will you take a husband of your friends' choosing? Sink., Riv., I, 2 

A chance and hope of my procuring. DlCK., Christm. Car., I, 23 

Is it the natural end of your precepts and mine, that this should be the 

creature of your rearing, training, teaching, hoarding, striving for? id., Chuz 

Ch. LI, 395 a. 

The events of the last few months have not been of the Government \ 

making or of Mr. Redmond's making. Westm. Ga:., No. 5347, 1 c. 

11 Her songs .-re her own making. Lytton, Pomp., I, Ch. Ill, 19 a 

It was all Cornelia's doing. Walt. Besant, The Bell of St. Paul's, II, 155, 1 
He couldn't look me in the face and say it . . . But of course it's aunt's 
doing really Wills, Ann Veronica, Ch. I, s? 2, 14 
Entirely his own making, too, is his personal popularity. Times , No. 2299, 55 C 

Note. «) Also the indefinite its is found in this function. Its 
comparative frequency, especially before being nominal, shows 
that Willert (1. c, 35) is mistaken in considering this use of its 
in the following quotation from Dickens's Christm. Carol as a 
bad joke. See alse CuRME, 1. c. ; MXTzn., E. Gr.-, Ill, S2 ; and 
compare Ch. XI., 63. 

The clerk . . . went down a slide on (.ornhill in honour oi its being 

Christmas- Eve. Dick.. Christm. Car/, I, 18. 

You were talking of hts being a girl. id.. Cop . < h. I. 4 b 

The notion of its being Sunday was the strongest in voung ladies like 

•Miss Phipps G EUOT, Scenes, III Ch. V, 218 


Do not run away the first moment of its holding up. Jane Austen, 

.Mansfield Park, Ch. XXII, 213. 

I won't hear of its raining on your birthday ! Osc. Wilde, Lady Wind, s 

Fan, I, 1, (19). 

There is very little chance of its clearing for us to shoot to=day. El. Givn, 

Refl. of Ambros., II, Ch. X, 207. 

/J) Similarly instances of the anticipating (personal pronoun) its 
before a gerund appear to be common enough. 

Mademoiselle doubts . . . its being so easy to forgive. Dick., Little Don it, 

Ch. II, 12 b. 

After some talk about its being hard upon Nan to have to take leave so 

suddenly of her governess, Clara's wish was granted. Dor. Gerard, The 

Etern. Woman, Ch. XIII. 

Such an inquiry ought in such a case to be a matter of course, and the 

mere idea of its needing to be demanded by the threat of a strike ought 

to be dismissed as gratuitous and unnecessary. Westm. Gar., No. 8615, 2 a. 

2. standing by way of non? prepositional object to the pres 
dication it expresses. Compare 27; also Ch. XXIV, 20; 
Ch. XXXIII, 7. 

i. It (sc. the tormenting humour) was still held to be necessary to my poor 
mother's training. Dick., Cop., Ch. VIII, 58b. 

He began to give a half=humorous account of the troubles and storms of 
Hester's bringing=up. Mrs. Ward, The Case of Rich. Meyn., II, 
Ch. X, 201. " 

On the day of Hester's burying Long Whindale lay glittering white under 
a fitful and frosty sunshine, ib., IV, Ch. XXIV, 499. 
He was glad to receive early lights on the subject of his daughter's up- 
bringing. Agn. and Eg. Castle, Diamond cut Paste, I, Ch. V, 67. 

ii. I never meant this miscreant should escape, | But wish'd you to suppress 
such gusts of passion, | That we more surely might devise together ' His 
taking*off. Byron, Mar. Fa 1., I, 2, (355 a). 

His pore (= poor) mother . . . made a mistake at his christening. Hardy, 
Far from the Madding Crowd, Ch. X, 91. 

I hey now put the finishing touch to their training and equipment. II. Lond. 
News, No. 3940, 569 a. 

3. indicating the duration of the action or state it expresses. 

After eight years' suffering she was quickly and entirely cured. Westm. 
Gar., No. 5261, 7c. 

Yokohama is fifteen days' steaming from San Francisco. Rev. of Rev., 
No. 212, 113 b. 

4. denoting the epoch of the action or state it expresses. 

She has as many tricks as a hare i/i a thicket, or a colt the first day's 
breaking. Goldsmith, She stoops, II, (295). 

e) the common case of nouns or such pronouns as have no 
genitive, or the objective of personal pronouns, the relation 
of these modifiers to the gerund corresponding to that of 
subject to predicate. Compare 34—37. 


i I don't approve of young men getting engaged until they have some prospect 
of being able to marry. Anstey, Voces Populi, Christm Romp . 206 
She listened to the door slamming. Temple Thurston, ( >t\ of Beaut. Nons. II. 

Ch 11. 214 
ii. You seem to understand me by each at once her choppy lingers laying upon 
her skinny lips Sunk. Macb., 1. 3, 34. 

You will oblige me by all leaving the room Mason, Eng Gram ', 5; 4 1 4 
I have my doubt- .is to this being true. ib. 
ni Excuse me putting in a word Dick., Domb. Ch I. 
Pardon me saying it. Tin, Princ, I, 154. 

Note. The subject=indicating element may be a lengthy workgroup. 

On a sudden, many a voice along the street. | And heel against the pavement 
echoing, burst Their drowse. Ten., Cut. and En., 271 < the echoing oj 
the heel against the pavement). 

14. Unlike the infinitive, the gerund may be followed and modified 
by a prepositional word*group with of, representing either a 
subjective or objective genitive. The relative frequency of the 
ojt construction, as compared with the subjective or the objective 
genitive has already been discussed in Ch. XXIV, 19 and 21. 
Naturally the gerund, when followed by a word*group with of, 
is mostly preceded bv an other adnominal modifier. Compare 
also 32. 

i. He was suddenly startled from his slumbers by the bustling-in of the house= 

keeper. Wash. Irv„ Dolt Heyl. (Stof., Handl., I, 113). 

He would not stand the bullying of the doctor any more. THACK., Pend., I, 

Ch. II, 31. 

We could never listen . to the speaking of Sir James without feeling that 

there was a constant effort, a tug up hill. Mac, Rev., (311 bl 

We had hoped . . for a better pulling together of all parties in dealing with 

a serious national problem. Westm. Gaz., No. 8591, 2 a. 

They will not submit to be treated ... as children expected to accept blindlv 

the teaching of a benevolent parent, ib., No. 8603, 5 a. 
ii. There's no pressing oj women surely! Farquhar, Rccr. Of., Ill, 1, (2Ss) 

The milking of cows was .1 sight Mrs. Poyser loved. G. Euot, Ad. Hede, VI. 

Ch. XI.IX. 412. 

W ithout question, the use of oil fuel in place of coal means a great saving 

oj labour. II. I.ond News, No. 3b^.S, ">47. 

.Modern conditions do not lead to the quick weeding out oj the feeble and thi 

diseased. Westm. Gaz., No. 8603, 4,i 

Of some special interest are constructions in which the gerund is also 
modified by a subjective genitive or another prepositional word group. 

1. Leigh Hunt was undoubtedly both pained and puzzled by Byrons misunder- 
standing of this attitude. J H. LoBBAN, Sel in Prose and Verse from 
Leigh Hunt. I n trod. 

Another distinction of the French visit was the King's opening oj the Kingsway. 
Rev of Rev . No. 191, 4t>0 a 


ii. This will hinder the growth of better relations with Germany and the granting 
to her of concessions in the economic life. Westm. Gaz., No. 8579, 3a. 

Note. A gerund with an objective q/;combination is equivalent to, 
and often interchangeable with a gerund with a non=prepositional ob; 
ject. Thus The purchasing of needless things has ruined many a one = 
Purchasing needless things has ruined many a one. For further discussion 
see 32. 

15. Unlike the infinitive, the gerund may be used as an adnominal 
modifier. Compare, however, Infinitive, 73. 

Godolphin was not a reading man. Mac, Ad., (745 b). (— a man given to 


Mrs. Bretton was not generally a caressing woman. Cii. BrontI-", Villette. 

Ch. 1, 5. 

His wealth consists in land, factories, machinery, and a vast selling organisation 

Westm. Gaz., No. 8603, 4 a. 

The Entente has been in thorough working efficiency. Times, No. 2299, 55a 

Note. In this function the gerund often forms established designations, 
graphically distinguished from occasional collocations by the use of the 
hyphen. Such are car\'ing-knife, dancing-master, dwelling=house, fowling- 
piece, laughing-stock, meeting-house, reaping-hook, stumbling-block, spinning- 
wheel, turning-lathe, turning-point, walking-stick, and a great many others. 
In the same position and function we also find the present participle, 
likewise often forming with its head-word a kind of compound. 

The general is a serving officer. Westm. Gay., No. 8121, 3 a. 

The Bill has passed through Standing Committee, ib. 

Comforts for fighting men. ib. [i. e. men fighting in the field. But fighting is a 

gerund in There's no justice for a fighting man (Shaw, Cash. Byron's Prof 

Ch XIII, 239), i. e. a man who makes his living by prize-fighting.] 

Many combinations leave room for a twofold interpretation. Thus those in : 

I am not yet on friendly and intimate terms with the Coupon system, but I have 
a nodding acquaintance with it. Punch, No. 3998, 126 a. 

The new ministry . . . appears as a good working combination. Westm. Gaz., 
No. 8597. 3 a. 

For further dicussion and illustration see Ch. XXIII, 13, Obs. VII. 

16. Unlike the infinitive, the gerund may be inflected for number 
and for case. Inflection for number is quite common; not so 
that for case, which seems to be confined to collocations in which 
sake is the word modified. 

i At length the tumult died away in low gaspings and moanings. Mac, Clive, 

Good beginnings make good endings. Mks. Craik, A. Hero, 68. 
It is difficult to conceive how borrowings and tendings could to any large 
extent be carried on without the medium of the Stock Exchange. Esgoti , 
England, Ch. IV, 42 


He ignored the sayings and d< the ladies of his famil) S\kmi Grand, 

Our man Nat 31. 

She hated hole*and*corner doin n. and 1 I le, Diam. cut Paste 

Ch V, 72 

I never saw such doingi s r, N. E. Gr. , Ni 329 

There have been indiscriminate burnings, pillagings, and s ; - with what 

discernible results? Times No 2301 99a 

aim Temperance, whose blessings those partake Who hunger, .\nd who thirst 
tor scribbling' S sakt Pope, Dunciad. I. 50. 

He (sc the moor-hen) does not kill for eating's sake like those other enemies 
that have been named We s tin. Gaz., No. 5249, 12 b 

It is nobler to talk for talking' s sake than to talk with a purpose ib.. 
No. lb 

The extinction of the great auk was . the result of the love of killing 

for killing's sake. The New Statesman, No 2^2. 421 b 
It was evident that he wanted to talk, if only for talking' s sake, Hk\y> Stoker, 
Dracula, Ch. II. 22 

The Gerund exhibiting at once Verbal and Substantival Features. 

17. 1 he gerund is often attended bv both verbs and nounsmodifiers 
Not a few instances may be found in the preceding sections. 
Among the numerous possible combinations it is especially the 
following which deserve some attention. 

18. Very frequently we meet with gerunds that are modified bv a 
genitive or possessive pronoun and followed, or preceded, by 
one or more of the verb; modifiers, i. e. objects or adverbial 

a) all the verb*modifiers following the gerund: 

Perhaps my being here prevents her coming to you. Sin k School for Scand. , 

V 3, (430) 

Sometimes I fancied that Peggotty objected to my mothers wearing .ill her 

pretty dresses. Dick., Cop., Ch. II, lib. 

It (sc. his trot) cost him a world of trouble; he could have walked with 

infinitely greater case; but that was one reason for his clinging : variously 

id.. Chime 

.Mrs. Sedley had forgiven his breaking the punch-bowl. Thack., Van lair. I 

Ch V, 4s 

Will you consent to my putting an advertisement in the Time-. Ms- An\ 

A Life Interest. II, Ch. I, 11 

b) one of the verb^modifiers preceding the gerund: 

He excised his not waiting on me home. Farquhar, Rec Of., IV, 2, (310) 
n the moment of his first speaking to me. his voice connected itself with 
an association in mv mind that I could not define DlCK., Bleak House, 
( h VI 


19. a) Also the definite or indefinite article is often found together 
with verbsmodifiers of the gerund, especially prepositional 
objects or adverbial adjuncts. Compare 13, a) and b). 

i. The excitement of the events of the day, the quitting my home, the meeting 

with captain Ouin, were enough to set my brains in a whirl. Thack., Barry 

Lyndon, Ch. Ill, 48. 
ii. In ancient times, no work of genius was thought to require so great parts 

and capacity as the speaking in public. Hume, Es. XIII, Of Eloquence, C)C >. 
iii. The meeting with such formidable obstacles at such an unseasonable time 

upset all his plans. 

b) Constructions in which the gerund is preceded by the definite 
article and followed by a non* prepositional object were, 
apparently, quite common in Early Modern English, but 
are now unusual, especially in the case of the object being 
a noun. In literary English, even of quite recent times, 
instances are not, however, so infrequent as is often believed. 
For discussion and illustration see also Onions, Adv. Eng. 
Synt., § 181-2; Konrad Meier, E.S., XXXI, 327; Ellinger, 
Verm. Beitr., VII, No. 16; Curme, E.S., XLV, 361. 

Nothing in his life | Became him like the leaving it. Siiak., Macb. , I, 4, 8. 
(The construction is revived in: Nothing perhaps in life became him like to 
the leaving it. McCarthy, Hist, of Our Own Times, I, Ch. I, 3.) 
liven grey hair itself is no objection to the making new conquests. Mary 
Wortley Montague, Let. 71. 

When Mrs. Debora returned into the room, and was acquainted by her master 
with the finding the little infant, her consternation was rather greater than 
his had been. Fielding, Tom Jones, I, Ch. Ill, 3b. 

My attention was fixed on another subject, the completing a tract which I 
intended shortly to publish. Goldsmith, Vic, Ch. II, (245). 
I confess I have since known no pleasure equal to the reducing others to the 
level of my own reputation. Siier,. School, I, 1, (364). 
llis present engagement might only end in his being exposed like a conquered 
enemy in a Roman triumph, a captive attendant on the car of a victor, who 
meditated only the satiating his pride at the expense of the vanquished. 
Scott, Bride of Lam., Ch. XIX, 1 L >4. 

I have another reason for refraining to shoot besides the fearing discomfiture 
,md disgrace, id., Ivanhoe, Ch. XIII, 134. T. 

1 regard it as a most happy thought, the placing Miss Smith out of doors. 
|\m Austen, Emma, Ch. VI, 46. 

Nothing he thought could bring a man to such wretchedness but the having 
unkind daughters. Lamb, Tales, Lear, 161. T. 

lie had certain inward misgivings that the placing him within the full glare 
of the judge's eye was only a formal prelude to his being immediately ordered 
away for instant execution. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XXXIV. 
I he excitement of the events of the day, the quitting my home, the meeting 
with captain Quin, were enough to set my brains in a whirl. Thack., Barry 
I vndon, Ch. Ill, 48. 


The contemplating a father's death ... it seems a kind of parricide Lytton, 

My Novel. II, VIII, Ch. IV, 30 

I ,im not sure it' the inhabiting this house was nol also believed to convey 

some unusual power of intellect, .Mks. Gask., Cranf., Ch. VII, 129. 

Next in importance was the restoring peace and order to, and banishing miser} 

and pauperism from the sister isle Lit. World. 

I exhort you to take tins .ts your aim — the bringing into existence the peac* 

of the world. The Archbishop of York's Address to the BoyScoutS 

(The Jamboree Hook. 100 a). 

Note. <() In many cases idiomatic propriety can be easily reestablished 
bv replacing the non prepositional object by an adnominal adjunct 
with of, or bv simply removing the article. 

I Master Blitil objected to the sending away the servant. Fielding, Tom 
[ones, IV, Ch. VIII, 53 b. (rewritten: . . . the sending away of the servant, 
or, which seems even more usual: . . . the sen-ant being sent away.) 

ii. I think it probable that she would be displeased on the first hearing it. 
Trol., bra ml. Pars., Ch. XXXI, 303. (rewritten: . . . on first hearing it.) 
He suffered in the saying it. Mrs. Ward, Rob. 1. Ism. , I, 197. T. 

/0 Extremely awkward and harsh is the construction when the gerund 
is modified by an adverb of quality. Compare CuRME, E. S., XLV, 361. 

As certain dates are all important to the well understanding my story, I mention 
that it begins in the afternoon of March 28, 1823. Tales from Black' 
wood, II. 11 ') 

This is far less the case when the adverb is the negative never or not, 
as in: 

It must be the unnatural way they're brought up . . . that and the never 
hearing a single word of truth from the hour they are born. Em. LAWLESS, 
A Col. of the Empire, Ch. IY. 

; ■■) Sometimes the syntactical connections seem to justify the cons 
struction, any alternative construction being hardly available. Thus 
especially when the gerund is modified adverbially by a prepositional 
word=group standing after the object. 

i That is a turning English into French, rather than .1 refining English bv 
French. Drtden, Defence oi the Epilogue. 

Then the shouting and the struggling, and the onslaught, that was made on the 
defenceless porter. The scaling htm with chairs for ladders to dive into his 
pockets, despoil him of brown*paper parcels [etc.]. Dick, Chri st m. Car., II. 
The following them about, and jesting with them, affords a cheap and 
innocent amusement for the boy population, id., Pickw., Ch. II, 10 

II The having originated a precaution which was already in course of execution 
was a great relief to Miss Pross. id., Tale of Two < 1 1 ies , III, Ch. XIV, 405. 
In the last example (sc. He told them he had gone for a little walk, and 
saw a donkey) the pluperfect is justified bv the fact that the going for 
.1 walk preceded seeing the donkey, and it is used here because the seeing 
the donkey is the really important event, to which the pluperfect makes it 
subordinate Swiii, N. E. dr., s: 2247 

'I \YlII f RT. I. c. 


20. What has been said about the above construction with the definite 
article also applies, in the main, to that in which the gerund is 
preceded by a demonstrative pronoun and is followed by a 
nonsprepositional object. Curme (I.e., 361) gives the following 
instances, observing, "It is most common with pronominal ob* 
jects, but it is also often found with substantives" 

I don't like this jawing one down so. 

This missing the mark so widely that everybody laughed discouraged him from 

shooting again. 

I approve of this holding the speakers to the question. 

This pinning one's faith to a political party is very harmful to the country 

I don't like this scaring the very life out of a fellow 

The student will observe that unlike the two first, the three last examples, 
in which the object is followed by a prepositional wordsgroup, fall 
pleasantly enough upon the ear. 

And again, "Such a combination as this missing fatally the train. 
or this missing the train fatally, instead of this fatal missing 
of the train is impossible." 

21. The combination no -- gerund -f- nous prepositional object is a 
peculiarly English idiom. For the rest the combination indefinite 
numeral gerund -f- noivprepositional object appears to be 

i. There is no making you serious a moment Sher., School for Scant! 
IV, 2, (407) 

There is no trusting appearances, ib., V, 2, (425). 

There was no mistaking the real nature of the trial through which he had passed 
Rid. Hag., Mees. Will, Ch. XIV, 142. 
ii. Emma thought she could so pack it as to ensure its safety without much in* 
commoding him. |\m Austen, Emma, Ch. VII, 47. (more usual English 
incommoding him [very] much.) 

22. The gerund may be preceded by an adnominal modifier, and 

at the same time exhibit the distinction of either voice or tense, 

or of both together. According to Curme (1. c, 362) construe* 

tions of this description in which the adnominal element is 

represented by either an article or a demonstrative pronoun are 

clumsy and are mostly avoided. Conversely those in which the 

complex gerund is preceded by a genitive or possessive pronoun. 

or by no, appear to be quite common, at least in literary Ian* 


i lie said that I should heartily repent his being listed. Farquhar, Rec. Of., 
7. (345). 


Bingley urged Afi Jones's being sent for immediate!} [ani Austen, Pride 

and Prej., Ch. VIII, 44. 

You must excuse my not being convinced by assurances only, ib . t h XVIII, 49. 

she was delighted with the idea oi her son's being brought up to .1 profession 

worthy of his ancestors. Wash. Irv., Dolf Heyl. (Stoi ., I, 107) 

["he consequences of my incapacity was hi-, driving my cattle that evening 

and fheir being 1 appraised and soLI next day. Hughes, Tom Brown. 

Mv not being married i^ no reason why they should be disappointed. Sn\w. 

Getting Married, (231). 
** There is no being shot .it without a little risk. Sher., Kiv., \', 5, (279). 
*** The greatest pain I can suffer is the being talked to and being stared .it. 

Addison, Spect., I. 

I am not disposed to maintain that the being born in a workhouse is in 

itself the most fortunate and enviable circumstance that can possiblv befall 

a human being. Dick., Ol. Twist, Ch. I, 19. 

They enjoyed the not being hurried. Hughes, Tom Brown, 
ii.* Their greatness seems to consist in their never having done anything to distin = 

guish themselves. Dick., Bleak House, Ch. IV, 54. 
• Grandcourt . . . was little else to her than a living sign of what she felt to 

be her failure as a wife — the not having presented Sir Hugo with a son. 

G. Eliot. Dan. Der.. II, III, Ch. XXV, 4. 

It is the h.iving been <o near claiming you for my own that makes the denial 

so hard to bear. I Iardy, Far from the Madding C rowd, Ch. XXXI, 2" 
iii. He had been at great pains to atone for the having been obliged to make 

his toilet ... without the aid of dressing;case and tiring; equipage. DlCK., 

Barn. Rudge, Ch. IV, 57b. 

This seemed a satire upon his having been born without that useful article 

oi plate in his mouth, id., Nich. Nick., Ch. I, 2a. 

How he regretted, if not the giving away of his cake, at least the h.iving 

been caught in such a strange act of charity. ASCOTT, K. Hope, Old Pot. 

23. Quite frequent are also those constructions in which a gerund 
preceded by a preposition exhibits the distinctions of either voice 
or tense, or of both together. 

i. Can't he be cured by being taught to be proud oi his wife? Goldsmith, 

She stoops, I, (171). 

An opulent city afraid oj being given up to plunder. Mac., (.live, (53S.i) 

He is desirous of being admired. Mason, Fng. Gram. 34 , § 197. 

He preferred killing himself to being killed by a star. W'estm. G.i:, No. 5255, 3 b. 
u Are you ashamed of having done a right thing once in your life? Sher., 

School for Scand., V, 3. 

He went crazy through having lost his fortune. MASON. ling. Gram. 84 , § 197 

I thank you very much for having responded to my summons. Miss Bradi 

Lady Audley's Secret, II, Ch. XI, 210 

she blessed her for having saved the child. Rn. Hag., Mees Will 1 , Ch. XIV. 


All this time Bathsheba was conscious of having broken into that stronghold 

at last. Hardy, Far from the Maiding Crowd, Ch. XVII, 135. 
iii. He went crazy through having been robbed of all his monev. 


24. Of equal frequency are those constructions in which a gerund 
is preceded by a preposition and is attended by a verbsmodifier. 

i. He escaped by crossing the river. Mason, Eng. Gram. 34 , § 197. 

By spending money like water, by corrupting the Press, and by intimidating 
their opponents, they succeeded. Ninet. Cent., No. 396, 248. 

ii. What with mugging at that blasted constituency and hanging about this beastly 
lobby, I'm all out of condition. Westm. Gaz., No. 5255, 4a. 
Recently there came to this country Mr. Harris Weinstock, charged by the 
State of California to investigate the means adopted of dealing ivith strikes and 
lock-outs, ib., No. 5255, 4c. 

iii. There is no use in even talking of a reformed Second Chamber, ib., No. 5255, 2a 
It is difficult in these days to escape from the topic of politics even by de= 
liberately talking about something else. II. Lond. News, No. 5694, 184a. 



The Distinction of Voice neglected. 

25. The distinction of voice which the gerund is capable of ex* 
pressing is often neglected. The reason why, apart from its 
origin (58—65), the gerund often preserves the active voice 
instead of the passive, apparently required by the sense, is that 
its passiveness is often more or less vague or uncertain (27). 
Naturally this is most frequently the case when, through the 
absence of verb^modifiers, especially objects, the verbal element 
in it is dimmed. It is then felt to differ little from a noun 
of action, which, indeed, if there is one to express the meaning 
intended, is mostly preferred (47). It should be observed that 
adverbial adjuncts modifying the sentence generally do not affect 
the voice of the gerund. 

The student is strongly recommended to compare the following 
quotations with those in 8, a, in which for various reasons the 
passive gerund could not be replaced by the active. 

He has not, in fact, either murdered his parents, or committed any act worthy 

of transportation or hanging up to the present day. Thack., Pend., I, Ch. II, 25. 

He retired with him to talk over the necessary preliminaries of hiring. Hardy 

Far from the Madding Crowd, Ch. VII, 56. 

The Russian people are certainly not incapable of training. Rev. of Rev., 

No. 531, 76 a. 

His last essay . . . will repay reading and re=rcading. Westm. Gaz., No. 8591, 15a 

I doubt whether any specimen of the book can be quite fairly judged without 

both seeing and reading. Westm. Gaz., No. 8633, 10a. 

Note. «) Adnominal adjuncts naturally favour the use of the active 
voice. Compare the idioms in 13, b. 


i Mr Gumbo's account of his mistress's wealth and splendoui was carried to 
my lord by his lordship's man, .mJ, we ma} be sure, lost nothing in the 
telling. Tha< k . Virg . ( h. XVI, 166 

11 The Frenchman has plenty of valour-that there is no denying. Lytton, M \ 

Novel. VII. Ch. I. A - 

it stands to reason that when the gerund is followed by a prepositional 
phrase with by, representing the inverted subject (Swi i i, N E. lir„ § ^H) 
the passive voice is used when required bv the sense. 
One of the real dangers in Belgium was being shot by one's own sentries. Eng 
Kes . No. 72. 495 

26. Some cases in which the gerund, when attended bv no object 
adverbial adjunct, or inverted subject, is kept in the active voice 
notwithstanding its passive meaning, deserve special mention 
We find it in this form practically regularly, 

a) when it is the subject of the sentence and, as such, is placed 
in fronfcsposition. 

Hanging and wiving goes by destiny Siiak., Merch., II, ^, 83 
Horsewhipping would be too good for such a scoundrel Edna Lyai 
Hardy Norseman, Ch. XXXIV, 300. 

Compare: It's as sudden as being shot. Rim Kin., The Light thai 
tailed. Ch. VIII, 104. 

b) when it is the object of a verb expressing a requiring. See 
also Infinitive 15, d. 

i. Onlv two small incidents that befell the novice need mentioning. W. Bi 

The New Prince Fortunatus, Ch. VIII 

The children of men need to love as much .is they need loving. Morlr 

Robikts, Time and Thomas Waring, Ch. XI, 107. 
ii The Duke of Northumberland and Lord Salisburv declared boldly that 

the institution which required reforming was the House of Commons and 

not the House of lords Westm. Gaz., No. 5261, lb. 

Charley Bere ford will require looking after one of these days. Punch 
iii Come boys! the world wants mending. Mackay, There'sWork for all 

to do, I. 

We didn't want seeing home. Dick., Great Expect., Ch, XVII, l s s 

He wanted comforting, ib., Ch, XVIII, 175 

They did any little odd jobs that he wanted doing Eng Kev No 61 37 

Thus even when the gerund is modified bv an adverbial adjunct 

I want to know exactly what you want doing to this house Mks \Y\ki. 
Delia Blanchflower, I, Ch V, 132. 

Similarly, bv the analogy of to require, some other verbs have the 
illogical active gerund. 

i Helena (held) a dancing class under the cedars . , for such young men 
as panted to conquer the mysteries of "hesitation or |.ir;ing, and were 
ardently courting instructing, in the desperate hope of capturing their 
teacher for a dance that night Mrs. \V\kh Cous Phil Ch. VIII 12" 


ii. I thought the whole story altogether deserved commemorating. Fielding, 
Tom Jones, IV, Ch. X, 53. 

lie deserves hanging for that. Douglas Jerrold, BlacksEy'd Susan, II, 
I (30). 

It I were such a consummate ass as that, I should deserve hanging. 
Philips, Mrs Bouverie, 86. 

Also to bear seems to preserve the active voice as a rule, the passive 
voice appearing only occasionally. 

i Alas the life of such hovs does not bear telling altogether. Tiiack., Pend., I, 

Ch. XVIII, 182. 

These houses wont bear dancing in. Marryat, Olla Podrida. 

It won't bear thinking about. Con. Doyle, Trag. of the Korosko, 

( h. II, 65. 
ii. Those soft words do not hear being written down. ["HACK., Virg., 

Ch l.XVI, 699. 

In the following quotation the passive voice is, of course, due to the 
gerund being attended by an adverbial modifier of agency. 

lie sometimes could not hear being teased with questions. Boswell, [ohn 
son, 375a. 

c) when it modifies worth. See also Ch. Ill, 13, Obs. I, and 
compare the quotations with worth in 15, b. 

Such petty anecdotes as these are scarcely worth printing. Goldsmith, Letter 
to the Printer of the "St. James's Chronicle". 

The debate was well worth living through. Westm. Gaz., No. 5 2-4 3, 4b. 
The whole world has smiled, or sighed over that extraordinary diary in which 
Louis XVI entered, day after day, what seemed to him best worth recording 
and remembering, ib., No. s249, 4b. 

d) when it stands after for with a final meaning or a prepo* 
sition denoting a quality or state. 

i. There were in the book things that were not ripe [or telling. Westm. 

Gaz., No. 8333, 5a. 

Kvery block . . . was shipped from the home quarries ready for placing in 

position. '1. Lond. News, No. 3862, 586a. 
ii. This fellow's formal, modest impudence is beyond bearing. Goldsmith, 

She stoops, V, (222) 

lie tried her patience beyond bearing. Edna Lyall, A Hardy Norses 

man, Ch. XVII, 157. 

The lurks are beyond reasoning. Westm. Gaz., No. b288, I c. 

( iompare with the above the following quotations, in which the gerund 
is followed by the inverted subject or a prepositional object, or is 
suggestive of either. 

You are alnn'c being dazzled by good looks. II. J. Byron, Our Boys, II, 38. 

Mary, however sage and serious, was not aho\ j c being pleased with the ad= 
miration of her rustic companion. Scott, Mon , Ch. XIV, 159. 

lie was . above being pleased. Jan* Austen. Pride and Prej., Ch. Ill, 14. 


27. In the case of the active gerund with a passive meaning being 
modified bv a genitive or a possessive pronoun, the latter may 
be understood as an objective genitive or its pronominal ana 
logue respectively. Compare 13, d, 2. 

1 must present your friend with some little token, on the occasion ol l'.uil\ 
christening. Dick., Domb., Ch, V, 34. 

Where .ire those 17.000 officers to come from? . . . How can the nation pay 
tor fheir training. The Nation (Westm. Gaz., No. 6095. 18c) 

lo the ambitions man life . . . is a game to be won in the long run, by the 
quick eye and the steady hand, and vet having sufficient chance about its working 
out to give it all the glorious rest of uncertainty. Jerome, Idle Thoughts, IV, 6^ 
What Lord Lansdowne asks is that, the Lords having created one disastrous precedent 
to the prejudice of the Commons, the Commons should now avert the consequences 
bv making another precedent to their own undoing. Westm. Gaz., No S2ss, 1 b. 

Thus even, notwithstanding the inverted subject, in: 

He got much sympathy in the constituency for his rough handling by a band ol 
hooligans Manch. Guard., IV, No. 10, 18>a. 

28. In view of the origin of the gerund (58—65), there is nothing 
surprising in the fact that in Early Modern English gerunds 
are often placed in the active voice where present practice, 
>>wing to their markedly passive meaning, would have used the 
passive voice. See especially Franz, Shak. Gram. 2 , § 665; 
A. Schmidt, Shak. Lex., Gram. Obs., 5. 

Hut like the owner of a foul disease, | To keep it from divulging, (we) let it feed 

Hven on the pith of life. Shak., II am I., IV, I, 22. 

If he steal aught whilst this play is playing, And scape detecting, I will pay 

the theft, ib., Ill, 2, 94. 

You have learn d to watch, like one that fears robbing, id., Two Cent., 

II, I, 26. 

Kxcuse his throwing into the water, id., Merry Wives, III, 1, 20<-> 

29. Obs. The frequent disregarding of voice is not confined to the gerund, 
hut may also be observed in the infinitive and in the present participle. 
The cases in which the illogical construction is found with either of the 
two last verbals differ from those which concern the gerund. Compare 
Infinitive, 72; and Participles, 5. In this place it is of some interest 
to observe that in cases in which the gerund varies with the infinitive, 
the illogical active voice of the former always corresponds to the passive 
of the latter. We must confine ourselves to a few striking instances 

The man who can break the laws of hospitality, and tempt the wife of his 
friend, deserves to be branded as the pest of society Siiik. School tor 
Sv.ind., IV. 3, (413). 
Gallowsfbird. One who deserves to bv hanged. Murray, 


ii. Vice to be hated needs but to be seen. Pope, Es. on Man, II, 218. 

I am sitting here with some vanity in me, needing to be scolded. G. Eliot 

Fel. Holt, II, Ch. LI, 353. 

I lis citations sometimes need to be checked. Lit. World. 

The House of Lords needs to be wakened up. Rev. of Rev., No. 203, 451b. 

This unique and momentous change evidently requires to be accounted for. 

Henry Bradley, The Making of Eng. , Ch. II, 4 L \ 

In this respect every county presents its own problems, and many still require 

to be recorded. Rippmann, The Sounds of Spok. Eng., § 55. 

Were Mexico situated in any part of the world except America, the question 

would not require to be asked. Westm. Gar., No. 2309, 354a. 

Hungry people, remarked the Premier, did not want political intervention only 

but wanted to be fed. Manch. Guard., V, 17, ^2bb. 

The Distinction of Tense neglected. 

30. a) As in the case of the finite verb (See my Treatise on 
Tense, 141), the neglecting of the tense*distinction in the 
gerund is mostly due to the fact that no necessity is felt to 
consider the time*spheres of two or more predications in 
mutual relation, the mind being satisfied with viewing both 
of them from the primary dividingjpoint. (See my Treatise 
on Tense, 3.) Thus there is nothing strange in the use 
of the imperfect instead of the perfect gerund in such a 
sentence as He was hanged for killing a man (Mason, Eng. 
Gram., § 200), seeing that the difference of the timesspheres 
of the two predications may also be left unexpressed, if the 
gerundsclause is replaced by a full clause introduced by 
because: He was hanged because he killed a man (See my 
Treatise on Tense, 144). 

Further instances of the two predications being placed in 
the general past, in place of two different periods of the 
past, are afforded by the following quotations. 

After giving a masterly summary of the whole case, his Lordship concluded 

as follows. Rid. Hag., Mees. Will, Ch. XXI, 219. 

He thanked him for saving his life. Sweet, N. E. Gr. , § 1257. 

I wasn't very likely to return without speaking to you. Watts Dunton, 

Aylwin, II, Ch. IV, 66. 

Note. The imperfect gerund may be equally frequent when the 
predication it expresses belongs to the pre*anterior past (See mv 
Treatise on Tense, 2, d). 

After getting some work in London, he had returned to Birmingham. Rm. Hag. 
Mees. Will, Ch. XXII, 238 


h) Also a gerund which describes an action or state which is 
anterior to a predication of the present tunc-spherc is often 
kept in the imperfect tense. 

Pray make my excuses to Pratt tor not keeping my engagement [ani A 
Pride and Prej., Ch. XI XII 2sS 

I don't remember seeing more than one or two drunken men on week'days 
I G.Wood, Good Words (Stop., Leesb. , I. 
I thank you tor assembling here DlCK., Chuz., Ch. IV, 29b. 
Not that I blame them for coming, id, Bleak House. Ch. XXXIX, 339 
I hope you are not angry with me tor coming Mrs. Alexander, A Life 
Interest, I, Ch, IX. 146. 

c) Comparing the above quotations, in which the tense;distine 
Hon is neglected, with those mentioned in 8, b, in which it 
is observed, it seems futile to attempt rinding any principle 
which underlies the different practice. Thus by the side of 
the quotations in which after is followed by the imperfect 
gerund we find: 

i. After having seen him publicly thus comport himself, but one course was 
open to me to cut his acquaintance ["hack., Snobs, Ch. I, 14. 

ii. After having married \\m, I should never pretend to taste again. Sher., 
School for Scand., II, 1, (577). 

Also a comparison of the two following quotations goes 

far to show that the choice of tense may be a matter of 

mere chance. 

I don't remember ever having a keener sense oi remor- 5 'Id Chapel 

I remember having seen him. id., N E, Gr . % 52s 

31. Like the passive gerund (28), the perfect gerund is rare in 
Early Modern English (62, e). Fran/, (Shak. Gram. - , ^ 665) 
mentions but three instances from Shakespeare, viz.: Two 
Gentlemen, I, 3, 16; Temp., Ill, 1, 19; and Cvmb., II, 3, 110, 
The following is another: 

Go in Nenssa; | Give order to my servants that they take ! No note at all of 
our being absent hence Merch., V, 120 

The Gerund followed by an Adnominal Adjunct with of. 

32. Instead of gerund non* prepositional object we often find 
the + gerund -•- adnominal adjunct with of, the adnominal 
adjunct representing an objective genitive (14). 

a) Sometimes the two constructions would seem to be inter- 
changeable, replacing one by the other, however, involving, 
of course, a substitution of an adverb of quality for an ad- 
jective, or vice versa. Thus frequently after a preposition. 


i. He had little taste or genius for the pursuing of the exact sciences. Thack., 
Pend., I, Ch. XVIII, 182. {— pursuing the exact sciences.) 
1 confess that, on the first reading of this letter, I was in such a fury that 
I forgot almost the painful situation in which it plunged me. id., Sam. 
Titm., Ch. XI, 144. (= first reading this letter) 

The Government has secured the whole time of the House in which to 
carry the supply necessary for the smooth running of the business of the 
country. Westm, Gaz., No. 5249, 4b. (== running the business of the 
country smoothly.) 

The week which begins with Boxing-day is not one for the publishing of 
many books, ib., No. 8579, 24 a. (= publishing many books.) 

ii. The first halfdiour was spent in piling up the fire. Jane Austen, Pride 
and Prej., Ch. XI, 57. (= the piling up of the fire.) 
A bird=fancier is one who takes pleasure in rearing or collecting birds. 
Webst ,, Diet., s. v. bird-fancier. (= the rearing or collecting of birds.) 
Mrs. Boxer was employed in trimming a cap. Lytton, Night and Morn., 
291. T. (= the trimming of a cap.) 

b) In many cases, however, the first construction is impossible 
or, at least, highly objectionable, because it implies association 
of the predication it expresses with the subject of the head* 
sentence, which may be at variance with the meaning intended. 
The second construction, which is free from this implication, 
then appears as a welcome alternative. 

I'll be with you in the squeezing of a lemon. Goldsmith, She stoops, 

I. (174). 

He sits patiently waiting for the drawing up of the curtain. Leigh Hunt, 

The Old Gentleman. 

We have no doubt he regrets the closing of the door upon his re=appearance 

in the House of Commons. Westm. Gaz., No. 5249, 2b. 

We do not take too tragically the carrying of the resolution, ib., No. 8941, 3 a. 

Thus also in the following quotation in which the o/-adjunct is 

Thus he read; | And ever in the reading lords and dames | Wept, looking 
often from his face who read | To hers which lay so silent. Ten., Lane, 
and EL, 1275. (i. e. the reading of the letter.) 

With the above compare the following quotations in which the 
association referred to above would be destroyed by the insertion of 
the and of. 

He troubled himself little about decorating his abode. M.\<:., Hist., I, Ch. 
Ill, 315. 

I do care about filling properly the place to which I am born. L. B.Waliord, 
Stay = at = homes, Ch. I. 

Curiously enough, the first construction is sometimes the preferable 
one, because the second would impart to the predication expressed 
by the gerund, almost the same specializing meaning as that with the 
possessive pronoun, which may be contrary to the meaning intended. 


Mkv Hakim t. ome, Mr. Hardcastle, you must allow the boy a little humour 
Haroc Id sooner allow him a horse»pond. If burning the footman's shoes 
frightening the maids and worrying the kittens be humour, he h ildsmith, 

She stoops, I. (168) 

t I Sometimes the two constructions, although structurally equally 
legitimate, convey different shades of meaning, and cannot, 
therefore, he used interchangeably. 

In the making of an anthology he displays a skill that almost entitles him to a 
share of Hazlitt's greatest fame J. II Lobban, Sel. from Leigh Hunt. 
Intr. (Compare In making an anthology he displays a skill etc., in which 
the gerund=clause has a distinctly temporal meaning, which is absent in the 
above quotation ) 

J) The second construction hardly admits of the gerund or 
the noun in it being encumbered by lengthy adjuncts, and 
could not, therefore, be very well used in place of the first in: 

This insinuation put me upon observing the behaviour of my mistress more 
narrowly for the future. SmOL., Rod. Rand.. ( h. XIX, 125. 
Accordingly, he set seriously about sheltering and refreshing our hero for the 
night S, 011, Way., Ch. I.X.. 149a 

It was the very room to which he had been shown when he first called 
about sending his son to the school. Anstey, Vice Versa, Ch. XI, 2i x 
The benefits of free emigration would result in freeing the country of a great 
number of undesirable characters Daily Mail. 

e) Apart from the above considerations, substitution of the one 
for the other construction is sometimes objectionable for 
reasons of euphony or idiom. Thus in such a sentence as 
The Abolition of the I louse oj Lords means the granting of 
Home Rule (Saturday Review) the second construction is, 
no doubt, preferred, because it makes a better balance, than 
the first, with the preceding the Abolition of the I louse of 
Lords. If the writer had started his statement with Abolishing 
the House of Lords, the latter part of it would, most pro; 
bably, have run granting Home Rule. 

The same consideration has, no doubt, caused the second 
construction to be preferred in: 

The art of printing and the training of tie and had not yet brought the 
world under the rule of uniformity of sound representation W'estm. Gaz., 
No. 5255, 5a. 

The inscrutable laws of idiom seem to be responsible for 

the preference of the construction used in: 

1 The buying of this brooch took a long time G \i sw ok i in , Ta tterdemalion , 

I. l. 17. 

Jones resumes the lacing oj his boots id., The Silver Box, II. 1, (45) 


The main purpose is now stated to be the exploring of the present unknown 
regions north of Iran; Josef Land and Spitsbergen. Westm. Ga:., 
No. 5249, 8c. 

He then described the taking of hostages as a barbarian and an un=Christian 
method of war. ib., No. 8574, 5 a. 

Quack remedies for the building up of trade were unsparingly derided. 
Man ch. Guard., V, No. lb, 505 b. 
ii. Hating one's neighbours is forbidden by the Gospel. Mason , Eng. 
Gram." 4 , § 368. 

! always delight in overthrowing such kind schemes. Jane Austen, Pride 
and Pre j., Ch. X, 5 5. 

He amused himself with embellishing his grounds. Mac, War. Hast. , (65 6a). 
A tradesman, ought to be attentive to the wishes of his customers, and 
careful in keeping his accounts. Crabb, Syn., s. v. attentive. 
I shall begin by reading the earlier will. G. Eliot, Mid., Ch. XXXV, 247. 
I think people ought to be as particular over choosing their daughters 
governess as their son's wife. Mks. Craik, John Hal., Ch. XXX, 321. 

In the following quotation only the first construction would appear 
to be admissible as an alternative for that with the noun of action. 

Oliver was frightened at the sight of so many gentlemen. Dick., Ol. Twist, 
Ch. II, 28. (= at seeing so many gentlemen, not: *at the seeing of so 
many gentlemen.) 

33. Constructions in which the gerund is followed by an adnominal 
adjunct with of representing an objective genitive, without being 
preceded by such a definitive adjunct as an article or a demon* 
strative pronoun, were common in Early Modern English, but 
survive now only as archaisms or vulgarisms. See Stoi\, Taalst, 
III, 326; Franz, E. S., XII; id. Shak., Gram.", 667; Einenkel > 
Hist. Synt, §3,;'. See also the Treatise on the Participles, 
6, Obs. IX. 

What have you lost by losing of this day? Shak., King John, III, 4, 116. 

Leave wringing of your hands, id., Ham I., Ill, 4, 34. 

Asahel would not turn aside from following of him. Bible, Samuel, B, II, 21. 

But they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep, ib., John, XI, 13. 

He left beating of Paul, ib., Acts, XXI, 32. 

They, who have lately written with most care, have, I believe, taken the rule ot 

Horace for their guide; that is, not to be too hasty in receiving of words, but 

rather to stay till custom has made them familiar to us. Drvden, Defence of 

the Ep ilo g u e. 

I hear of a fellow, too, committed just now for stealing of horses. Farquhar, 

Rec. Of., V, 4, (333). 

Dick, after reading of the verses was fain to go off; insisting on kissing his two 

dear friends before his departure. Tiiack., Henry Esm., II, Ch. XI, 246. 

Addison, blushing, began reading of his verses, ib. II, Ch. XI, 249. 

I could only be happy by forgetting of her. Dick., Cop., Ch. LI, 367a. 

It is the fashion in this clime for women | To go twelve months in bearing of 

a child. Tin., Queen Mary, III, 6, (623b). 


The Gerund preceded by the Common Case of a (Pro)noun 
or the Objective of a Personal Pronoun. 

34. .)> As has already been shown in Ch. XXIII, 12 and Ch. \.\1Y, 
52—56, the common case of nouns often takes the place of the 
genitive, if the relation tor which the latter stands is vague. 

The result is that in certain combinations the two forms are 
used side by side with no, or hardly any appreciable difference 
in meaning. In this place the following sets of quotations must 
suffice to illustrate this variety of practice. 

i It was her life's t.isk and duty to dedicate .ill her powers to the prosperity 

and interests of her Fatherland. Times 
ti. He nude it his life work to determine those positions tor each sound. Lloyd, 

Mod. 1 ang. Quart. 

She had .in angel's face. .Mks. Wood, East Lynne, I, 121. T 
ii. So sweet a face, such angel grace, | In all that land had never been, lis . 

The Beggar Maid. 
i The Duke of Omnium (saw) with his eagle's eye that the welfare of his coun 

trvmen at large required that some great step should be initiated. TrOI , I' rami. 

Pars.. Ch. VII, 78. 
ii Thou hast mi eagle eye. Lytton, Rienzi, I, Ch. I. 1 6. 
i One would almost imagine that the Government's policy in Ireland was to create 

Sinn Feiners as fast as it eliminated them. Westm. Ga:., No. 8579, 3a. 
ii. I he signs of victory are not apparent, but if the Government policy is successful 

in crushing the whole opposition to it in Ireland, what then V ib., 2 a. 

The student mav here be reminded of the fact that in Northern 
Middle English the mark of the genitive was often absent, 
and is still frequently dispensed with in Northern English. 
Compare Curme, E. S. XLV, 363 f; Einenkel, Synt., § 16, S. 

I 127s At the appostele biding (= at the apostle's bidding) sone bai went 
I'll (= to) ham ogain bat bam had sent. Horstman, Alteng. Leg., 
Neue Folge, 140/257. (Compare: at the dukes praying In Babiloine he 
appostels dwelled, ib., 140 214.) 

b) In like manner the word denoting the originator of the 
predication expressed by the gerund is often kept in the 
common ease even when it denotes a person. The practice 
is, naturally, the rule, when it indicates a thing to which, 
strictly speaking, no personal activity can be ascribed, and is 
unavoidable when it has no genitive inflection, as is the case 
with certain pronouns and with numerals. 
In an analogous way the objective of a personal pronoun 
sometimes takes the place of the corresponding possessive 
pronoun. Eor discussion and illustration see Ch. XIX, 5. 
Compare also 1 "5, e. 


Instead of the objective, the nominative of the personal pro* 

noun appears to be occasionally used, e. g. : Instead of he 
converting the Zulus, the Zulu chief converted him. ] ) In view 

of the distinctly subjective relation in which the pronoun 

stands to the following verbal this seems to be natural enough. 

Instances, however, appear to be very rare, at least in the 
printed language. 

35. Apart from the causes which may be assigned for the substitution 
of the common case for the genitive generally, the following 
factors may be, mainly, responsible for the shaking of the case; 
system concerning the (pro)nouns which stand by way of sub* 
ject before the gerund. 

a) the uncertainty of the interpretation to be put on some con; 
structions in which a (pro)noun in the common case or the 
objective of a personal pronoun stands before the verbal 
in ing. 

1) Thus / cannot imagine anybody disliking Jack (Flor. Marryat, A 
Bankrupt Heart) may be understood to mean I cannot imagine 
that anybody should dislike Jack, or I cannot imagine anybody who 
would dislike lack; i. e. the object of imagine may be regarded to 
be the whole wordsgroup anybody disliking Jack or the pronoun 
anybody alone. According as either the Hrst or the second inter; 
pretation is applied, disliking is to be regarded as a gerund or a 
participle. To a person who would favour the first view, which 
seems the least rational, anybody would appear as an alternative 
form for anybody's. 
A similar twofold interpretation may be put upon: 

I cannot conceive a woman in her senses refusing Dick. Rudy. Kipling, 
The Light that failed, Ch. X, 131. 

lie speaks of a young married man being seized and shot, though his 
wife pleaded on her knees for his life. Westm. Gaz., No. 8615, lb. 

If the vernal in ing in such an ambignous sentence is understood 
as a participle, the clause of which it forms part may sometimes 
be expanded into an adverbial clause of time. Thus in: 

Mr. Macklean had collected us in the drawing-room, in order to listen to 
him reading the history of Joseph. Dor. Gerard, The Eternal Woman, 
(dv IX. ( — in order to listen to him as he redd the history of Joseph.) 

Compare with the above the following sentence, which admits of 
but one interpretation: 

She listened to the door slamming. Temple Thurston, The City of 
Beaut. No ns., II, Ch. II, 214. (= the slamming of the door.) 

Jisi'iksin, De to Hovedarter, 33 


2) Another analysis may be applied to such a sentence .is Pardon me 
saying it (TEN., Princ, I, 154). In it Pardon me gives complete 
sense, saying it imparting to the utterance more point by stating 
the matter as to which pardon is requested. The logical relation 
between me and saying it might be expressed by the preposition 
in: Pardon me in saying it. But grammatically saying it modifies 
me adnominally, and saying is a participle. 

But we may also apprehend the whole of the notions expressed 
by me saying it as the object of pardon. This interpretation, which 
appears to be the more logical, would render the use of the 
possessive pronoun my more appropriate than the personal pronoun 
me. We may add that it is also more usual in Standard English. 

3) If in such a sentence as She's a bit lonesome, poor thing, with her 
husband being so much away (Edna I.vall, A Hardy Norseman, 
Ch. XXI, 188) the preposition with is eliminated, the undeveloped 
clause is changed into what is called a nominative absolute, the 
verbal in it being an unmistakable participle. It will be observed 
that, although the meaning of the sentence is hardly affected by 
the elimination, the grammatical relations between the component 
elements of the latter part have undergone a change. While in 
the sentence as it originally stands her husband is felt to be the 
modifying element and being so much away the element modified, 
these functions are reversed in the altered sentence : her husband 
now being the element modified, being so much away the modi; 
fying element. In sentences with with of the above type, which 
are frequent enough, the verbal never appears with a genitive or 
possessive pronoun; at least no instances of this practice have come 
to hand. They may, however, have borne a part in shaking the 
system of indicating the originator of the predication indicated by 
the gerund by either of these forms. 

4) Clrmf, (E. S., XLV, 372) cites I do not like to think of mother sitting 
all alone in the old home, and observes that he feels "the construction 
as participial on account of the presence of the progressive idea, 
the conception of the continuation of the verbal activity", con; 
trasting it with / am not in favour of mother selling the old home, 
in which he regards the construction as gerundial. The observation 
seems right enough, but it may be asked whether the alternative- 
interpretation of considering the complex of the ideas indicated 
by mother sitting all alone in the old home as the (prepositional) 
object of think is inadmissible. 

5) Murray, s. v. ing, illustrates the probable influence of the parti= 
ciple constructions in furthering the use of the common case before 
gerunds by comparing the following sentences: John was digging 
potatoes. Who saw John digging potatoes? Who ever heard of 
John (—John's) digging potatoes. 



6) It may here also be observed that in constructions with the common 
case of a (pro)noun, or the objective of a personal pronoun, before 
the verbal in ing of verbs which may also be construed with an 
accusative -f- infinitive, the verbal is best understood as a participle 
after such as express a perceiving. But the alternative interpretation 
of regarding this (pro)noun as a variant of a genitive or possessive 
pronoun, and, consequently, the verbal as a gerund is the more 
plausible one after other groups of this class of verbs. This view 
is borne out by the fact that an alternative construction with a 
genitive or a possessive pronoun is admissible only so far as the 
latter verbs are concerned. 

i. The doctor now felt all the dignity of a landholder rising within him. 
Wash. Irv., Dolf Heyl. (Stof., Handl. I, 109). 

You could hear him eating. Temple Thurston, The City of Beaut. 
Nons., II, Ch. I, 20b. 

They had noticed the German sitting far down the woodland path. 
Buchanan, That Winter Night, Ch. XI, 92. 
ii. :; I can't abide a woman whistling. J. M. Barrie, The Admirable C ri ch = 
ton, III, 107. 

Compare: I cannot hear your remaining at Belbthorpe like a jewel in a 
sty. Meredith, Ord. of Rich. Fev., Ch. XX, 137. 
** Mrs. Barthwick wouldn't like him coming about the place. Galsworthy, 
The Silver Box, I, 2, (20). 

I don't like my daughter playing hockey. Chesterton, II. I.ond. News, 
No. 3841, 793a. 

Compare: I don't at all like your going such a way off. Jane Austen, 
Pride and Prej, Ch. LI, 310. 

I don't like your binding yourself to work for so many years. Edna Lyall, 
A Hardy Norseman, Ch. VII, 55. 
' To permit the present muddle = headed anarchy prevailing in such a serious 
problem is little short of a social indictment. Eng. Rev., No. 58, 255. 
Compare: The charms of melody and beauty were too strongly impressed 
in Edward's breast to permit his declining an invitation so pleasing. Scott, 
Wav., Ch. XXIII, 74a. 

I remember my poor grandmother once incidentally obseri'ing |etc.]. Jerome, 
Idle Thoughts, V, 69. T. 

I remember you telling me. Beatr. Mar., Ships, I, Ch. XIII. 
Compare: I recollect your saying one night [etc.]. Jane Austen, Pride 
and Prej., Ch. XLV, 265. 

Since we have parted, I can never remember Emma's omitting to do any 
thing I wished, id., Emma, Ch. V, 35. T. 

I can quite understand you saying so. Con. Doyle, Sherl. Holm., I, 104. T. 
Compare: I can hardly understand a young Frenchman's not entering 
the army. Meredith, Lord Ormont, Ch. V, 79. 

We understand Portia to hesitate for a word which shall describe her 
appropriately. Note to Merch. of Ven., Ill, 2, 159, in Clar. Press. Ed. 

b) the absolute phonetic identity of the genitive and the common 
case in the plural of practically all nouns, and also of the 
possessive and the personal pronoun her. 


When we had dined, to prevent the ladies' leaving u-, 1 generally ordered 

the table to be removed. GOLDSMITH, Vic, (h. II. (242) 

He insisted on his sisters accepting the invitation. Philips, Mrs. Bouverii 

c) the frequent uncertainty whether a given noun whose last 
sound is the blade*sibilant should be understood as a genitive 
singular or as a plural. Thus a person, hearing such a sen* 
tence as He spoke of the girl's (or girls') coming, may, in 
many cases, be in doubt whether the reference is to a single 
girl or to a plurality of girls. And it is only natural that 
the unsophisticated mind should hit upon the simple expedient 
of using the noun without the sibilant when only one in* 
dividual is in question. 

36. Obs. I. Grammarians have been greatly puzzled to tell the exact nature 
of the verbal in ing when preceded by the common case of a 
(pro)noun, or the objective of a personal pronoun, in the connect 
tion described above, and have, consequently, felt a difficulty in 
giving it an appropriate name. 

Sweet, in § 2328 of his N. E. Gr., commenting on two such 
sentences as I do not like his coming here so often and / do not 
like him coming here so often calls the verbal in ing in the last 
sentence a present participle, but being aware of the form differing, 
as to its relation to the other elements of the sentence, from an 
indisputable participle as in / saw him coming, styles it a half* 
gerund, thus tacitly admitting that he is unable, or considers it 
immaterial, to tell what the difference consists in. 
The same hesitation is shown by Krlger, who in his Schul* 
grammatik,§ 549, dubs the construction gerundial participle 
construction, which name in his paper, Die Partizipiale 
Ger undialfiigung, ihr Wesen unci ihr Ursprung (E. S., 
XXXVII, 385), he changed into participial gerund*construc = 
tion, evidently considering this an improvement upon the first 

It is difficult to see why two names should be needed for a verbal 
form which, although preceded by modifiers of a grammatically 
different description, remains unalterated in its relations to the 
other elements of the sentence. Comparing two such sentences 
as Excuse the boy's saying so and Excuse the boy saying so, we 
find that the logical relations between what is expressed by the 
different elements of the sentences are absolutely identical. And 
this appears to be the case with almost every pair of sentences 
which differ only as to the form of the noun preceding the verbal 
in ing. Compare Obs. III. 

We have seen (34) that also before an ordinary noun the genitive 
is often enough replaced by the common^case form of an adnominal 


noun. But nobody will for a moment entertain the notion that 
in this case the relations between modifier and headword are 

Also Curme (E. S., XLV, 364) sees no occasion for the verbal in 
ing being called by a different name when, instead of the genitive, 
the common case is used. Commenting on such a sentence as 
/ am not in favor of mother selling the old home, he observes, 
"A number of distinguished grammarians regard selling in this 
sentence as a present participle. There is, however, not a single 
established fact upon which this theory is based." And again 
(1. c. 373), "It (sc. the common case of the noun indicating the 
originator of the action or state denoted by the gerund) is the 
natural extension of the endinglcss subjective form which we see 
extending itself to-day also to names of persons and to pronouns 
in the position after verbs and prepositions. The evident tendency 
is to make the subject of the gerund endingless. We have here 
to do with inner development within the powerful gerundial 

Similarly Jespersen holds to the view that the nature of the 
verbal in ing undergoes no change through the substitution of the 
common case for the gerund. See his Growth and Structure", 
§ 204; DetoHovedarteravGrammatiskeForbindelser, 19. 
An appropriate name for the construction illustrated by such 
sentences as / do not like him coming here so often, Do you mind 
me smoking, etc., is suggested by Deutschbein (System, § 60, 4, c), 
who proposes to call it accusative ~\~ ger undium. The name 
implies the close resemblance to the accusative -4- infinitive, and 
suggests the fact that it provides for those cases in which the 
accusative — infinitive is not available or, at least, at variance 
with idiom. Compare Ch. XIX, 70. The denomination is, of 
course, only suitable for those cases in which the (pro)noun is 
the non^prepositional object of the preceding finite verb, as in 
the two examples given above, or depends on a preposition, as in : 

I insist on Miss Sharp appearing. Thack., Van. Fair, I, Ch. XI, 108. 
She listened to the door slamming. Temple Thurston, The City of 
Beaut. Nons., II, Ch. II, 214. 

Instances of what might be called a nomi na ti ve -j- ge r und, 
e. g. : It's no good you hanging round (Punch), My daughter 
staying so late worried me (Curme, 1. c, 367) are not frequently 
met with. 

II. Only in a few instances is the general meaning of the sentence 
materially modified by a change of construction. Compare What 
do you think of my sister's singing with What do you think of 
my sister singing? and Paul was quite alarmed at Mr. Feeder's 
yawning (Dick., Domb., Ch. XII, 104) with Paul was quite alarmed 
at Mr. Feeder yawning, and What is the use of my speaking with 


What is the use of me speaking (= if I speak) l \ and Papa did 
not care about their learning with Papa did not care about them 
learning (Thack., Henry Esm., I, 242). See 37, b. 
Omitting the mark of the genitive in Another stirring passage 
describes Xey's crossing the Dnieper, quoted by Kruisinga ( 1 1 andb. 5 , 
\ 255) from the Athenarum, would be changing the meaning 
of the sentence entirely; i. e. it would be understood to have 
the value of Another stirring passage describes Ney as he is 
crossing the Dnieper: in other words, it would change the gerund 
into an indubitable participle. For detailed discussion of the subject 
see also Kruisinga, Handb. ! , § 279 ft'; Dubislaw, Beitr., § 14. 

37. The different areas of the use of the construction with the 
genitive or a possessive pronoun and that with the common 
case of a (pro)noun or the objective of a personal pronoun, 
which in the following discussions will be, respectively, called 
construction A and construction B, have already been described, 
in broad outline, in Ch. XIX, 5—6. It seems advisable to revert 
in this connection to the subject and to supplement the obser* 
vations there made. 

a) Construction B is distinctly more colloquial than construction A. Xatu= 
rally so. The propensity of the human mind, especially of the uneducated, 
is to use an analytical construction rather than a synthetical, the former 
admitting of the different elements of a complex of notions being 
thought of separately and in orderly succession and, consequently, 
preferred to the latter, which forces the mind to grasp these elements 
as a whole. Thus in You must excuse the boy saying so we are enabled 
to think of the notions expressed by the boy and saying so in sue; 
cession, while in You must excuse the boy's saying so we are obliged 
to take in at once the ideas involved in the boy's saying so. For 
further illustration see Ch. XIX, 5, e. 

We subjoin a quotation in which, notwithstanding the absence of all 
refinement of language, construction A is used. 

An' when I seed the book open upo' the stall, vri' the lady lookin' out of it 
wi' eyes a bit like your'n when you was frettin' — you'll excuse my takin' 
the liberty, Miss — I thought Id make free to buy it for you. G. Eliot, 
Mill, IV, Ch. Ill, 258. 

b) Construction B is in especial favour when the originator of the action 
or state has to be indicated with emphasis. This even causes the 
personal pronoun to be not unfrequently preferred to the possessive 
pronoun, although the practice of using the former is not, on the 
whole, in great favour in educated English. Murray, s. v. ing, ob; 
serves, "Even a pronoun standing before the gerund is put in the 

') Mirray, s. v. ing. 


objective, in dialect speech; and when the pronoun is emphatic, this 
is common in ordinary colloquial English". He quotes: 

Papa did not care about them learning. Thack., Henry Esm. 

But who ever heard of them eating an owl. id., Newc. 

That is no excuse for him beating you. So what is the excuse of me speaking? 

Reade, Hard Cash. 

It will strike the observant student that Murray here overlooks the 
difference which substitution of construction A for construction B 
would involve in the first and third quotations. See 36, Obs. II. 
As an instance of polite speakers preferring construction A, nothwiths 
standing the emphasis, we quote: 

To think of your turning book-hunter. Lytton, Caxtons, XVII, Ch. I, 450. 
(The author has your placed in italics.) 

c) Construction B is preferable in the case of the verb being durative 
and durativeness being distinctly in the speaker's mind. Thus in 
They insisted on my walking between them all the way to the station 
the fact that the act of walking continued all the way to the station 
is less distinctly brought out than in the same sentence with me 
substituted for my. Compare Curme, E. S., XLV, 372. 

d) Construction B is said to be more usual after a preposition than in 
other positions. Willert (E. S., XXXV, 381) even goes so far as to 
observe, "Heute kann man sagen, dass der Akkusativ mehr und mehr 
an Boden gewinnt und bei dem von einer Proposition abhangigen 
Gerundium fast ausschliesslich zur Anwendung gelangt". This is, 
however, an exaggerated statement. It would, at least, be easy to 
produce hosts of quotations, drawn from colloquial language, in which 
a preposition is followed by construction A. The following may be 
given as a striking instance: 

I may not have my objections to a young man's keeping company with me. 
Dick., Dorab., Ch. XII, 111. (The speaker is Miss Susan Nipper, a servant 
in the house of Dombey, certainly not remarkable for refinement of language.) 

For further illustration of the practice which Mr. Willert pronounces 
in such sweeping terms to be unidiomatic, see Ch. XIX, 72,ff. 

e) Construction B is distinctly the rule when the originator of the action 
or state is indicated by a compound indefinite pronoun with body or 
one; it is almost the only one in actual use when this originator is 
a thing. A few quotations showing the alternative practice may be 
deemed acceptable. See also Ch. XIX, 5, b. It is of some importance 
to observe that examples of the latter description are not so unusual 
as is commonly believed. 

i. We can put a great deal of copper into the gold without any one's finding 

it out. Ruskin, The King of the Golden River, Ch. II. 
ii. The utmost that was in the power of a lawyer was to prevent the law's 
taking effect. Fielding, Jos. Andrews, IV, Ch. Ill, 207. 
I told him of the church's being so very well worth seeing. Jane Austen, 
Pers., Ch. XIV. 133. 


She played till Fanny's eyes, straying to the window on the weather's being 
evidently fair, spoke what she felt must be done, id., Mansf. Park, 
Ch. XXII, 213. 

The fact of the pencil's falling in the school room the previous evening, 

occurred to him. M*s. Wood, Orv. Col., Ch. VIII, 112. 

There is a real danger oi our literature's being americanized. II. W. and 

F. G. Fowler, The King's Eng., Ch. I, 24. 

The case of a bird's being run into in flight, and killed, by a motor=car is 

comparatively rare. Westm. Gar., No. 5613, 13a. 

f) Construction B is the only one in actual use when the (pro)noun 
preceding the gerund is followed by an adnominal adjunct which 
is not an adjective. 

Talk of us girls being vain, what are we to you? THACK., Henry Esm., Ill, 

Ch. II, 323. 

But it does signify about the parishioners in Tipton being comfortable. G. Eliot, 

Mid., Ch. XXXVII, 285. 

We had never heard of a man of his good sense refusing such an offer., E. S., XLV, 365. 

Also a worxhgroup consisting of more nouns than one would hardly 
brook the alternative construction. 

The father insisted on John and .Mary staying at home. 

On the general and his staff appearing. Curme, E. S., XLV, 365. 

When we talk of this man or that woman being no longer the same person. 

Thackeray. 1 ) 

g) Construction B is distinctly unusual when the combination is the 
subject of the sentence, unless, indeed, the modifying element is a 
word which has no genitive, or is rarely placed in the genitive, or 
contains a modifying adjunct following it. For illustration see also 
Ch. XIX, 6, Obs. I. 

Your being Sir Anthony's son, captain, would itself be a sufficient recommen; 

dation. Suer., Riv. , III, 2. 

Harriet's staying away so long was beginning to make her uneasy. |\si 

.V stem, Emma, Ch. VIII, 64. T. 

Your feeing strangers is what makes me wish to accompany you. Onions, 

Adv. Eng. Synt., § 180. 

J ohn's sending so late a reply vexed me. Curme, E. S , XLV, 368. 

The following are the only instances of the alternative practice that 

have come to hand: 

And is a wench having a bastard all your news, Doctor? Fielding, Tom 

Jones, IV, Ch. X, 556, 

I feel a bit unstrung, that beast caterwauling over yonder was just more than 

I could put up with. Con. Doyle, The Trag. of the Korosko, Ch. I, 27. 

Young gentlemen calling at my apartments might cause remarks. M. E. Francis, 

The Manor Farm, Ch. XI. (For comment see below.) 

But in such a sentence as To = day being Saturday rather complicates 
matters, the genitive could hardly take the place of the common;case, 

') Jespersen, Growth and Struct., § 204. 


not, at least, in the English spoken in the British Isles. According 
to Curme (E. S., XLV, 371) American English prefers the genitive 
even here. 

Construction B is, however, the usual one, also in the case of the 
subject; indicating word of the gerund being a noun indicating a 
person, when the gerund^clause stands after the head^sentence and 
is announced by the anticipating it. 

It was no use Virginie venting her wrath upon Humphrey. Flor. Montgom. 


It was no use men being angry with them for damaging the links. Times. 1 ) 

Instances with the personal pronoun in the same position are met 
with only in vulgar or very colloquial language. 

Doesn't seem the least use me speaking to her. Fktt Ridge, Name of 

Garland, Ch. XIII, 219. 1 ) 

Look here, Billy, it's no good you hanging round. Punch. 

Compare: It's rather rich your talking of beating me at billiards, considering 

that I've devoted the last three years to billiards and nothing else. H. J. Byron, 

Our Boys, II, 40. 

It's rather amusing your bragging of rivalling me. ib., II, 41. 

It should also be observed that construction B may sometimes be preferred 
on account of the conditional notion implied. Compare 36, Obs. II. 

Young gentlemen calling at my apartments might cause remarks. M. E. Francis, 
The Manor Farm, Ch. XI. 

Thus also in the following quotation it would, most probably, have 
been used instead of construction A, if the predicate had been would 
be unbearable. The sentence would then, however, be unidiomatic. 

My girl's singing, after that little governess's, I know is unbearable. Thack., 
Van. Fair, I, Ch. XIX, 196. 

h) Construction B appears to be impossible when the combination is the 
nominal part of the predicate. 

Emma, this is your doing. Jane Austen, Emma, Ch. VIII, 50. 

"It is his doing and his money!" said my father; "good actions have mended 

the bad." Lytton, Caxt. , I, Ch. IV, 21. 

Similarly after verbs which express a modified to be. 

Your making the match . . . means only your planning it. Jane Austen, Emma, 
Ch. I, 13. T. 

i) Construction A cannot be replaced by construction B when the gerund 
is felt as a mere equivalent of a noun of action. Naturally it then 
stands without a verb=modifier and the combination in which it occurs 
does not admit of being expanded into a full clause. 
Ichabod prided himself upon his dancing. Wash. Irv., Sketch* Bk. , XXXII, 363. 
The day soon broke for our going. Dick., Cop., Ch. II, 14a. (= departure.) 
My boy must not see me following him with a wistful face, and have our 
parting made more dismal by my weakness. Thack., Virg. , Ch. IX, 90. 

') Kruisinga, Handb. 2 , § 250. 


Tom was migthy proud of his running. Hughes, Tom Brown. 
He resumed his listening. Wins, Ann Veronica, Ch. 1, *j 5, 2c->. 

Substitution is also impossible in such a turn of expression .is is 
illustrated by: 

No sighs but of my breathing; no tears but of my shedding. Siiak., Merch., 

Ill, 1, 82. 

iMy daughters undertook to adorn them with pictures of their own designing. 

Goldsmith, Vic. , (255). 

Her songs are her own composing. Lytton, Pomp., I, Ch. Ill, 19a. 

j) Finally it may be observed that construction B appears to be less 
common in American English than in British English. Thus to 
Murray's comment on the much - quoted sentence / insist upon Miss 
Sharp appearing (Thack., Van. Fair, I, Ch. XI, 108) to the effect 
that "Miss Sharp's would now sound pedantic or archaic", Curme 
(E. S., XLV, 368) observes, "In America we still cling here to the older 
literary usage, and many still prefer the genitive, although the new usage 
is also well-known". It would be of some interest to ascertain whether, 
as Ccrme's words imply, construction A was more in favour in the 
older stages of the language than it is to-day. This much is, at least, 
certain that Jane Austen appears to have been extremely partial to 
it, her works containing numerous instances which would hardly be 
tolerated in Present English. 


38. A gerund often enters into combination with a noun, an adverb, 
or a preposition to form with it a kind of compound (3, a). 
In these combinations the constituent parts are welded together 
with various degrees of closeness, in the written or printed 
language marked by junction, hyphening or separation of the 
component parts. 

39. The nouns used in these gerundial compounds are mostly in 
the objective, less frequently in the subjective or adverbial res 
lation to the verb with which they are connected. Sometimes 
also the relation is uncertain, more than one interpretation 
being possible. What distinguishes these compounds from com? 
binations of gerunds with nouns which form no compounds is 
that the noun always stands without any modifier and, so far 
as it stands in the objective or adverbial relation to the verb, 
is placed before the latter. The compound as a whole can, 
however, be modified by any adnominal adjunct, which shows 
that it is felt as a substantive. For convenience of reference 
the following quotations are arranged alphabetically. 


i. They talk about him (sc. a man who has betaken himself to the calling of letters) 
much as they would, had he adopted another sort of book^making as a means 
of livelihood. Rid. Hag, Mees. Will, Ch. IV, 42. 

John's family connexion with bookselling is not seen to have been particularly 
intimate. Times, Lit. Sup., No. 990, 11a. 
He gave up cigar^smoking. Thack., Pend., I, Ch. XXI, 219. 
What do you think I am best fit for after my bringing=up? Crossing^sweeping, 
perhaps? Shaw, Cashel Byron's Prof., Ch. XIV, 249. 

I had a desire to see the old family seat of the Lucys . . . and to ramble through 
the park where Shakespeare . . . committed his youthful offence of deer=stealing. 
Wash. Irv., Sketch=Bk., XXVI, 264. 

If you want to see the whole philosophy of the matter admirably set out, you 
have only to look to speeches reported in Hansard by one Lloyd George on the 
farm=burning and other exceptionable measures taken against rebels during the 
South African War. Westm. Gaz., No. 8597, 4 b. 

Let me hasten to wear the garment of repentance, and to apologize to Mr. Bell 
for being, as it seems, as ignorant of astronomy as of horse=racing. Westm. Gaz., 
No. 8597, 23 a. 

How delighted I should be to devote my time to agriculture, especially to horse= 
breeding. Times, 1921, 21. Jan., 45b. 

Low at leave=taking . . . bow'd the albamorous Earl. Ten., Ger. and En., 359. 
Her original was at that moment sound asleep and oblivious of all love and 
lettec=\vviting. Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd, Ch. XIV, 114. 
His love=making struck us as unconvincing. Weils, Ann Veronica, Ch. I, § 5, 26. 
This will guarantee no end to the competition of navy=building. Westm. Gaz., 
No. 8591, 4a. 

Note-taking in such a position wastes no little time. Bookman, No. 310, 125. 
Mr. Joseph Keating . . . has given up coaUmining for noveUwriting. Times, 

II Sect., No. 2300, 2. 

An expert in paper=hanging. Murray, 

The progress of peace=making depended on the employment of traditional methods. 

Times, Rev. 1921, la. 

There was a time when sermon^making was not so palatable to you as it seems 

to be at present. Jane Austen, Pride and Prej., Ch. LII, 322. 

For shoe=making or house-building, for the management of a ship or locomotive 

engine, a long apprenticeship is needful. Spencer, Educ, Ch. I, 26b. 

Tuft=hunting and tuft=hunter were originally University terms, and then passed 

into common use as descriptive of those who toadied to wealth or rank. Westm. 

Gaz., No. 8597, 22b. 

Your turnip^hoeing were (vulgar for was) in the summer and your malting in the 

winter for the same years. Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd, Ch 

VIII, 72. 
ii. He felt as if ... there had been ... no secret heart=burning. Agn. and Eg. 

Castle, Diam. cut Paste, I, Ch. VI, 88. 

Where he may be seen from Sun=rising to Sumsetting. Addison, Tatler, 

No. 20 1 ). 

All this drudgery from cochccowing to starlight. Emerson, Young American 

(Wks, II, 301) '). 
iii. He had the mother wit that is often quicker to detect a fallacy than book=learning. 

Times, No. 2303, 139b. 

') Murray. 


That I could have been at our old church in my old church'going clothes, on 

the very last Sunday ever was, seemed .1 combination of impossibilities, 

geographical and social, solar and lunar. I)n k., Great Expect, ( h 

XXII, 220. 

Golf kills church-going. We s tin. G.i:., No. 6147, 7a. 

This is a poor home-coming. Makj. Bowen, The Rake's Progress, Ch 

II. 24. 

Hv refusing her husband the conventional welcome she had partly brought 

upon herself the punishment of this sordid homecoming. A.GN. and 1 

istle, Diam. cut Paste. I, Ch. V, 72 
In the coal countrv of Upper Silesia the Poles have done most of the farming, 
and the Germans most of the mining and mctahu-orking. Manch. Guard , 
Y. No. 16, ~M)2b. 

This principle will predominate in future reforms of schooUteaching. ib., V . 
No. 23, 47lc. 

40. It is only adverbs that are also used as prepositions, such as 
down, in, up, etc., which can form real compounds with gerunds. 
They are mostly placed after the latter, prepositiveness making 
for closer union. Sometimes the language has pairs of these 
compounds with the adverb in different positions, e. g. : bringing^ 
up and upbringing. 

i The master of the week came down in cap and gown to calling=over. Hughes, 

Tom Brown. I. Ch. V, 94. 

This falling'off (sc. of output) cannot be ascribed to any slackness on the 

miners' part. Westm. Gaz., No. 8597, la. 

There is first to be a great speeding-up of shipbuilding, ib., No. 7401, la. 
ii He stood watching the pageant of the sun's cfou'n=goimj. Hal. Sutci... 

The Lone Adventure. Ch. I, 8. 

To be a queen disthroned is not so hard as some other down=stepping. 

G. Eiiot, Dan. Der . II, III. Ch. XXVI, 21 

All the changes in me have come about ... by the inbreathing of a spirit 

not my own. Mrs. Ward, The Case of Rich. Meyn., I, Ch. V, 10t>. 

Kossuth was a powerless exile, and looked with a jealous eye on the ingathering 

by others of the harvest. Times. 

All the sounds hitherto described impiy out=breathing or expiration. But they 

can also be formed with in=breathing or inspiration. Sweet, Sounds of 

Eng.. § 139. 

Please help to maintain the many activities of the Church Army for uplifting 

those who have fallen in Life's Struggle Westm. Ga;., No. 8438, 24b. 

She understood something of the struggle provoked ... by the uprising oi 

the tvpical modern problems. Mrs. Ward, The Case of Rich. Meyn., I, 

Ch. IV. 68. 
tii.° In him woke. | With his first babe's first cry the noble wish | To save all 

earnings to the uttermost, | And give his child a better bringing'Up | Than 

his had been, or hers. Ten, En. Arden, 87. 

He began to give a half=humorous account of the troubles and storms of 

Hester's bringing=up. Mrs. W\rd, The Case of Rich. Meyn. , II, Ch. X, 201. 
** She divined his home and upbringing, ib., I, Ch V, 106. 


Her French biographers attribute her lack of maiden modesty in conducting 
her own matrimonial arrangements to her English upbringing. Ethel Colquhow n, 
The Husband of Madame de Boigne (Ninet. Cent., No. 398, 700). 
Dora has had a scallawag upbringing. Graph., No. 2264, 617. 
There were many rom antic stones as to the humble birth and upbringing of 
the late Lord Strathcona. II. Lond. News, No. 3902, 161a. 

Note. «) When the collocation is only an occasional one, i. e. does 
not form a fixed designation, the adverb regularly stands after the 
gerund, and makes no real compound with it. 

They smoked out his singing=school by stopping up the chimney. Wash. Irv., 
Sketch* Bk. , XXXII, 357. 

/0 Other adverbs than the above may form compounds with nouns 
of action, not with gerunds. 

Mr. C. B. Cochran has been writing to the papers concerning their ilUtreatment 
of "The League of Nations". Westm. Gaz. , No. 8621, 10a. 
I maintain that it was sheer disinterested concern on my part for the welfare 
of humanity, ib., 7a. 

41. Verbs which govern fixed prepositions may form compound 
gerunds with these prepositions. The fact that the preposition 
is separated from the (pro)noun it refers to goes far to show 
that verb and preposition form a kind of unit. The union is 
naturally closest when the compound is preceded by an ads 
nominal modifier. 

i. You will never read anything that's worth listening to. Sher., Critic, I, I, (443). 
ii.That needs no accounting for. Dick., Chu-., Ch. L, 389a. 

People occasionally called him a prig; now and then he received what the 

vernacular of youth terms 'a sitting upon'. Gissing, A Life's Morn., Ch. Ill, 36. 

I wish you'd come round and give the gurl a talkin to. Shaw, Candida, 

I, (130). T. 

The poor fellow almost got the Georgian knock-out, for finally the Prime 

Minister went for him in a letter, and gave him a good talking=to. Eng. Rev., 

No. 106, 264. 

42. Obs. I. Only one instance of a gerund compound whose first member 

is an adjective has come to hand, viz.: well-being. 

The welhbeing of society is of more importance than the interest of the 
individual. Westm. Gaz., No. 8579, 4b. 

Also in merry-making the first member is, indeed, an adjective, 
but in to make merry, from which the compound is formed, merry 
is felt rather as a noun than an adjective. As has already been 
observed in Ch. I, 5, to make merry stands for to make oneself 
merry. Compare also Nesfield, Hist. Eng. and Deri v., § 218. 

He came clattering up to the schoobdoor with an invitation to Ichabod 
to attend a merrymaking or "quilting frolic", to be held that evening 
at Mynheer \'m Tassel's. Wash. Irv., Sketch.Bk., No. XXXII, 358. 


II. Compounds in which a noun stands in .in objective or adverbial 
relation to the verb, can in many cases be replaced by gerund 
phrases in which the noun is placed after the verb, no material 
change of meaning being involved. Thus there is no appreciable 
difference between / do not like letter-writing. Note-taking in such 
a position is very difficult, Great festivities took place at his home? 
coming. He gave up cigar=smoking, and, respectively, / do not like 
writing letters, Taking notes in such a position is very difficult, 
Great festivities took place at his coming home, He gave up smoking 
Compare also the two following quotations: 

The somewhat superfluous hcirt-searchings he has undergone. Athen., 
1885, 28. Nov. 697 1. 

By the watercourses of the Lagan and the Foyle there must be searchings 
of heart. Westm. Gaz., No. 8603, 2b. 

Some of these compounds, however, hardly admit of being split 
up into their component parts. This applies, for example, to 
coalmining, horse^racing, tuft=hunting. 

Numerous as these compounds are, especially such as have the 
noun in the objective relation to the verb, they cannot be formed 
freely. Thus we could not substitute call=paying for paying calls in: 

Chapters on dress, paying calls, letter=writing. Business Letter Writer. 

III. When the connection between gerund and adverb is weak enough 
to admit of another verbsmodifier separating them, they cannot 
be said to form a compound. 

Mr. Bagg had a passion for ordering people about. Westm. Gar., 

No. 8603, 12 a. 

The connection is also considerably weakened when another verbs 
modifier follows the combination. 

She finds lying up so much very irksome. Wins, Ann Veronica, 
Ch. I, § 5, 25, 

IV. Compound gerunds containing an adverb may form a further 
compound with a preposition. 

Both the peace and the rending of it were worth the getting=up=for. 
Hor. Hutchinson (Westm. Gaz., No. 6011, 2c). 

V. Like simple gerunds, compound gerunds of the first and the second 
kind are often used as adnominal modifiers, sometimes forming 
fresh compounds with their hcad=words. 

He was a slow and time*taking ^pe.iker. Dick., Nich. Nick., Ch. I, 3b. 
The prosperity of our mercantile marine and of our shipbuilding yards, 
depends on our total trade, both coming in and going out. Westm. Ga:., 
No. 8591, 4 a. 

December was a turning-point for the worse for the shipbuilding industry, ib. 
We are ceasing to be a game-playing nation and becoming, instead, a 
nation that looks on at games, ib., 8603, 10 b. 


ii. ,,The Iying=in room, I suppose?" said Mr. Bumble. DlCK., Ol. Twist, 
Ch. XXXVII, 340. 
The getting=on races took place last week. Pall Mall Gaz. 

VI. Finally it may be observed that these compounds have the mark 
of the plural attached to the verbal part. Of none of them the 
plural is, however, at all common ; of those of the third kind it 
is non-existent. 

It is only natural that she could not attach much importance to home* 
comings. Agn. and Eg. Castie, Diam. cut Paste, I, Ch. VI, 75. 
(That ball) is kicked about anyhow from one boy to another before 
callings-over and dinner. Hughes, Tom Brown, I, Ch. V, 93. 
She felt sure there must be goings-on when her back was turned. AMBER 
Rhf.yfs, The Reward of Virtue, Ch. II, 16. 



The gerund compared with the Infinitive. 

43. It has already been observed (1) that the gerund bears a close 
resemblance to the infinitive on the one hand and to the noun 
of action on the other. 

44. Most of the features which distinguish the infinitive from the 
gerund have already been referred to in the preceding pages, 
and it is, therefore, sufficient to pass them rapidly in review. 
Owing to its being more distinctly verbal in its functions than 
the gerund, the infinitive, unlike the latter, 

a) does not suffer the distinction of tense to be disregarded, 
except so far as futurity is concerned. Compare Infinitive, 57. 
Thus, granted that idiom would tolerate the change, the 
imperfect gerund would take the place of the perfect 
infinitive in: 

To have taken the field openly against his rival would have been madness. 
Wash. Ikv., Sketch* Bk., XXXII, 355. (Taking the Held etc.) 

Conversely the imperfect gerund would correspond to the 
perfect infinitive in: 

I don't remember seeing more than one or two drunken men on week-days. 
). G.Wood, Good Words (Stof., Leesb., I, 72.). (I don't remember 
to have seen etc.) 

Note. Like the gerund, the infinitive is frequently enough placed 
in the active voice when it is passive in meaning, but the cases in 
which the two verbals exhibit this grammatical peculiarity differ en= 
tirely. See Infinitive, 72, ff; and compare 29. 


b) can take no other preposition before it than to, save for 
archaic or dialectal English, which sometimes have for placed 
before to -}- InHnitive. Compare Infinitive, 3, Obs. Ill; and 
also Ch. Will, 24, Obs. III. 

It is not lawful for to puf them (sc. the silver pieces) into the treasury. 
Bible, Matth., XXVII, 6. 

Miss Arabella wondered whv he always said he going for to 0*0 a thing. 
G. Eliot, Scenes, I, Ch. II, 14. 

c) cannot be attended by adnominal modifiers (13 — 14). It 
may here be observed that the genitive or possessive pronoun 
(sometimes replaced by the common case or objective per* 
sonal pronoun respectively) often placed before the gerund 
to denote the originator of the action or state it expresses 
(13, d), is sometimes represented by for + (pro)noun before 
the infinitive. Compare the following groups of quotations: 

i. I feel quite certain it is worth while for you to be very industrious with 

your painting. E. F. Benson, Mr. Teddy, Ch. II, 49. 
ii. Anyhow, it's worth while mv having a game of golf=croquet with you. 

i. There is no use for me to cry about the matter. Kincsley, Westw. Ho!, 

Ch. XIV, 118b. 
ii. There is no use your telling me that you are going to be good. Osc. 

Wilue. Dor. Gray, Ch. XIX, 268. T. 

For detailed discussion of for -\- (pro)noun + infinitive see 
Ch. XVIII, 45 ff. Compare also Ch. XIX, 7. 

d) cannot be used as an adnominal modifier (15). 

e) admits of no inflection for number or case (16). In Old 
English, as we have seen in Infinitive, 3, Obs. I, the 
infinitive had a dative, but no further inflection. 

I Ie is to cumenne = He is about to come. 

Thone calic the ic to drincenne ha:bbe = The cup that I am about to drink. 

45. For the rest, when no subject^indicating word precedes, either 
the gerund or the infinitive can be used in numerous cases, 
sometimes with a marked difference in meaning, sometimes with 
no, or a hardly appreciable, distinction. In Ch. XIX an attempt 
has been made to delimit the cases in which the two verbals 
are, apparently, interchangeable, and in which either one or 
the other is obligatory or preferable. Although continued investi? 
gation has shown that the results set forth require some recti* 
fication and considerable supplementing, the student must, for 


the time being rest satisfied with the information there offered. 
For detailed discussion see also Ellinger, gerund, infinitiv 
and thatssatz als adverbiale oder adnominale erganzung 
(Anglia, XXXIII, 480ff). 

The Gerund compared with the Noun of Action. 

46. a) The noun of action is distinguished from the gerund, 

1) by its utter incapability of showing the distinctions of 
voice and tense. In other words nouns of action are 
strictly neutral as to voice and tense. 

Thus ilhusage might take the place of being UUused in : This, Sir 
Lucius, I call being UUused. Sher., Riv., 4, (252). 

punishment might be substituted for being punished in: If we es= 
caped being punished, it was only because Mr. Webb was away at 
a wedding most of the time. Sweet, Old Chapel. 

admiration might replace being admired in: He is desirous of being 
admired. Mason, Eng. Gram." 14 , § 397. 

Conversely being uttered might be substituted for utterance in : 
She had started up with defiant words ready to burst from her lips, 
but they fell back again without utterance. G. Eliot, Rom o la, II, 
Ch. XL, 310. 

2) by its incapability of taking a non^prepositional object. 
The (pro)noun which in the case of a gerund may be 
used in this function, figures as part of an adnominal 
adjunct with of when the noun of action is used. 

Thus Arranging flowers is a favourite pastime of mine. (Habberton, 
Helen's Babies, 55) might be changed into The arrangement 
of flowers etc. 

Conversely in To doubt his originality in the creation of poetic 
phrases would be to show the extreme of poetical incapacity. (A. C. 
Bradley, Com. on Ten.'s In Memor., Ch. VII, 73) the creation 
of poetic phrases might be replaced by creating poetic phrases. 

When the non?prepositional object is represented by a 
subordinate clause, substitution of the noun of action for 
the gerund is impossible. Thus in: 

Upon Johnson's inquiring what injury he had suffered at the hands of 
those persons to justify so splenetic an outburst, Goldsmith showed 
him a copy of "The Elysian" [etc.], Westm. Gaz. , No. 8579, 6b. 

In like manner as in the case of gerunds (39), nouns 
in the objective relation to the verbal idea implied in 


nouns of action are often enough found before the latter, 
forming with them a kind of compound. Such a com; 
pound mostly admits of being expanded into a noun of. 
action 4" adnominal adjunct with of. 

The much larger sum of £ 10.000.000 will go to the provision oi relief 
works, such as land reclamation and afforestation. Manch, Guard., V, 
No. li\ 302 b. (= reclamation of land.) 

We have grave doubts whether the country can afford to foster the 
complacency of Mr. Austen Chamberlain any longer by setting aside large 
sums for debt redemption. Times, No. 230 \ lvs ,i. (Compare: There 
.ire signs in the King's Speech that the pride of the Chancellor of the 
I xchequer in the heavy demands made upon the Country for redemption 
debt is not now shared by his colleagues, ib.) 

Note. It may here be observed that the subjective genitive- 
standing before a noun of action is never replaced by the common 
case, which, as we have seen, is often the case before a gerund 
(13, e; 34—3;). 

The arguments for Lady Clementine's rejection of Christianity had been 
given with terrible power. E. F. Benson, Mr. Teddy, Ch. II, 29. 
Iherc certainly was force in Daisy's contention that matter published in 
a serial is not to be judged in the same way when it appears in book 
form. ib. 

The higgling about status was ended by Mr. Loyd George's invitation 
and Air. de Valera's acceptance to a conference. Manch. Guard., V, 
No. 14, 261a. 

b) The noun of action, however, is like the gerund in being > 
in a manner, capable of modification by a prepositional 
object or an adverbial adjunct containing a preposition. 
Prepositional word^groups, whether corresponding to prepo* 
sitional objects or adverbial adjuncts, owing to the more 
markedly substantival nature of the noun of action, are, 
however, felt as adnominal modifiers. For illustration see- 
also the next section. 

i. Haven't you made yourself the jest of all your acquaintance by your 
interference in matters where you have no business. Siiix., Critic, I, 1 
On his persistence in the scheme depended one of his precautions for his 
own safety. Dick., Chu:., Ch. I.I, 590b. 

(The chimes were) incapable of participation in any of the good things 
that were constantly being handed through the street doors and the area 
railings to prodigious cooks, id.. Chimes*. I, 10. 

ii. She did not make this sacrifice without a motive, which may have sprung 
from a keen sense of justice, and of gratitude to the plaintiff for his 
interference on her behalf. Rio. Hag., Mees. Will, Ch. XXI, 224 
We shall all regret his disappearance from the House of Commons. Wes tm 
Gar , No. 5255, 2a. 



Note. Nouns of action are very rarely found attended by an ad; 
verb of quality, the markedly verbal notion, which is implied in 
the use of such a modifier, rendering the employment of the 
gerund practically obligatory. 

Mark actually held him to prevent his interference foolishly. Dick., Chuz., 
Ch. XXXV, 281a. 

This applies also, although in a less degree, to modifiers which would 
figure as predicative adnominal adjuncts to the gerund that might 
be substituted for the noun of action, these modifiers partaking 
of the nature of adnominal and adverbial modifiers at once. 
Life alone at twenty=six is lonely. Hope, Instructions of Peggy, 44 l ). 

47. a) When a verb has no noun of action, the gerund supplies 

the want as a very useful makeshift. For the rest there is 

a distinct tendency to use the former in preference to the 

latter when the grammatical function is mainly substantival. 

A few moments' attentive reading will bring this fact home 

to any student interested in the subject. Thus idiomatic 

propriety would appear to suffer in most of the following 

quotations, if the gerund were substituted for the noun of 


Ah, Charles, if you associated more with your brother, one might, indeed, 

hope for your reformation. Sher., School for Scand., IV, 3, (428). 

He gave up his attendance at that course, and announced to his fond parent 

that he proposed to devote himself exclusively to the cultivation of Greek and 

Roman Literature. Thack., Pend., I, Ch. XVIII, 183. 

He was in debt nearly a hundred pounds to tradesmen, chiefly of Mrs. 

Hoggarty's recommendation, id., Sam. Titm., Ch. XI, 141. 

And in due course there was bed, where, but for the resumption of the studies 

which took place in dreams, were rest and sweet forgetfulness. Dick., Domb., 

Ch. XII, 110. 

Bathsheba looked up at the completion of the manoeuvre. Th. Hardy, Far 

from the Madding Crowd, Ch. XVIII, 140. 

A resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced 

as to make avoidance impossible, ib., Ch. XVIII, 141. 

They speak it (sc. the standard dialect) without effort and without thought. 

Sweet, Sounds of Eng., § 229. 

The Reverend Charles forbade the further mention of her name by any member 

of his household. Hugh Walpoi.e, The Captives, I, Ch. I, 15. 

The Westminster Gazette Information Bureau has been established for the 

purpose of assisting readers who are househunting or contemplating removal 

to another neighbourhood. Westm. Gaz., No. 5249, 15c. 

The whole performance is a great joke, a merry incursion into more serious 

debate, ib., 4 b. 

I overheard him telling Tony a rather amusing story about a nun and a 

mousetrap which won't bear repetition, ib., No. 5255, 3 a. 

') Jespersen, Mod. Eng. Gram., 12.09. 


1 Icr judgments, in the main, are formed upon a perusal and not a n's/o/i of 
the dramas in question, lb., No. 8633, 10a. 

The following quotations, in which gerunds and nouns of 
action, corresponding to different verbs, are used alternately, 
will bring out this fact still more clearly. 

lor pickling, presetting, and cookery, none could excel her. Goldsmith, 
Vic, Ch. i. 

Sleep is, perhaps. Nature's neverȣailing relief, as swooning is upon the rack 

Leigh Him, A few Thoughts on Sleep. 

1 arge sums have been expended in the rebuilding of dwelling=houses, in the 

1aying*down of main roads, in the reclamation of land by drainage, planting 

and enclosure. Escorr, England, Ch. Ill, 33. 

The Irisch Royal Commissioners . . . had recommended the improvement of 

agriculture bv the reclamation of waste lands, the draining of bogs, the 

provision of labourers' cottages and allotments, the bringing of agricultural 

instruction to the doors of the peasant, the improvement of land tenure, etc., 

reforms which only now are being introduced. J.Ellis Barker, Parliament 

and the Irish Party (Nineteenth Cent., No. CCCXCVI, 246). 

Warren — piece of ground appropriated to the breeding and preservafion of game 

or rabbits. Ann, Cone. Diet. 

The discovery and training of one genius may pay for the education of a 

whole town. Westm. Ga:. , No. 8574, 4a. 

b) Sometimes, however, the gerund and the noun appear to be 
equally appropriate, being used in practically identical connect 
tions. This is shown by the following groups of quotations, 
which by assiduous reading could, most probably, be cons 
siderably added to: 

i. No difficulties but of my own creating. Sher., Riv., IV, 3. 

ii. A legion of goblins all of my own creation. Dick., Christm. Car.. I. 

i Peter de Groot did not think it worth mentioning. Wash. Irv., Dolf 

Heyl. (Stop., Handb., I, 105). 
ii. His remark ... is worth mention. Athen., No 4535, 2 L )7b 
i. Parliament has itself thought well to provide in advance for a review of 

its results bv a statutory commission ten years after the passing of tin 

Westm. Gaz., No. 8597, 12a. 
ii. The great revolution which was always feared, however, never took place, 

but this fear was responsible for the passage of laws which made it difficult in 

many of the States for a master to emancipate his slaves, ib., No. 5266. 16 c. 

They could do nothing to prevent the passage of the Home Rule Bill, ib.. 

No. 6535, 12a. 
i. The sudden conviction that they (sc. the Lords) need reforming is a very 

curious 'non sequitor' after the prolonged chorus of self=approval, which 

has gone up from the Peers during the last six months. Westm. < 

No. ^2b6, lc. 

The Duke of Northumberland and Lord Salisbury declared boldly that the 

institution which required reforming was the House of Commons, and not 

the House of Lords, ib., No. 5261, lb. 



ii Some of the Peers in the debate on Lord Kosebery's motion have suggested 
that it is the Mouse of Commons, and not the House of Lords, which 
needs reform, ib., No. 5261, 9. 

c) In not a few cases the gerund and the corresponding noun 
of action stand for different notions. Thus in the above 
quotation from Goldsmith cookery and preserving differ 
considerably in meaning from respectively cooking and preset 

The discussion of these differences belongs to the department 
of lexicography and is not, therefore, attempted in these pages. 

48. Obs. I. In Shakespeare not a few instances are met with of nouns of 

action for which Present English would have the gerund. See 
Franz, Shak. Gram.' 2 , § 670. 

If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me without my sfir. 
Macb , I, 3, 144. 

She. . . appear'dnot: j And, to be short, for not appearance and | The kings 
late scruple, by the main assent | Of all these learned men she was di = 
vorced. Henry VIII, IV, 1, 30. 

II. Owing, apparently, to the influence of nouns of a kindred meaning, 
nouns of action which correspond to transitive verbs sometimes 
take another preposition than of in the adnominal adjunct con 
taining the (pro)noun which is in the objective relation to the 
verbal idea implied in them. Thus regularly, or frequently, attempt, 
(dis)like, hate (hatred), love, etc. Compare Ch. XIX, 49, Obs. II 
and III. The discussion of this subject belongs to the Chapter 
of the Government of Verbs, Adjectives and Nouns, which the 
present writer has been a long time engaged in preparing. One 
instance must here suffice. 

This is best promoted by an incessant preaching of Liberal doctrine on 
great issues, on the saving of the world through the League of Nations, 
on resistance to Carsonism in Ireland [etc.]. Westm. Gaz. , No. 8521, 6b. 

The Gerund compared with the Present Participle. 

49. Although the present participle, in its grammatical function, 
markedly differs from the gerund, the one being as distinctly 
adnominal as the other is substantival, it overlaps the area of 
incidence of the latter to a considerable extent. 

As we have seen in sections 34—37, the verbal in ing, when 
preceded by the common case of a (pro)noun or the objective 
of a personal pronoun, is more or less of a doubtful nature, 
assuming as it does, in various degrees, a function which causes 
it to be considered, with some reason, as a present participle 


or, at least, as a verbal form which partakes considerably of 
the character of a present participle. As the following sections 
will show, this is not, however, the only connection in which 
the character of the verbal in ini; is disputed. 

SO. a) Through the suppression of a preposition the verbal in ing 
has often come to be used in a way which causes its gram? 
matical function to be changed, to the extent that it is no 
more to be distinguished from an ordinary present participle. 
Sweet (N. E. Gr., § 2333) commenting on two such sen* 
tences as She caught cold sitting on the grass, He tears his 
clothes climbing trees, observes that they have arisen through 
the dropping of a preposition. On the strength of this 
suppression of a preposition he calls the verbals used in them 
halfsgerunds. Although this view may be inexpugnable 
when the genesis of the construction used in sentences like 
the above is taken as the determining factor, it cannot be 
denied that the verbals they contain, considered in their 
present function, are pure participles used as predicative ad; 
nominal adjuncts. 

b) In Sweet's sentences it appears to be the preposition by 
which might be supplied. Thus also in: 

He had half ruined himself buying new music. .Mrs. Wood, Or v. Col., 

Ch. VIII. 116. 

He made a fool of himself, marrying a child like Leo. Shaw. Getting 

.Married, I, 1206). 

What do you all mean, interfering with my work and disturbing the peace 

of my garden? Bern. Capes, The Pot of Basil, Ch. Ill, 31. 

He gets to feeling very low walking about all day after work, and being 

refused so often. Gai.svtorty, The Silver Box, I, 2, (20). 

c) More frequently insertion of the preposition in would seem 
to be more in harmony with the meaning of the sentence. 
Thus in: 

The stream, in struggling onward, turns the milbwheel; the coral insect, 
fashioning its tiny cell, joins continents to one .mother. Jerome, Idle 
Thoughts, IV, 62. (Note the remarkable variation of construction.) 
I broke my looking=glass, dressing to go out. Haii Caine, Christ, II, 32. 
I was detained playing bridge with your father. El. Gi.yn, The Reason 
why, Ch. XXVI. 237. 

The most masculine woman looks graceful, playing tennis, and the most 
graceful woman looks ugly, playing hod KTON (II. I.ond. News, 

-^S41a, 793b ) 


I have spent many hours in the last few days, reading the Treaty. Westm. 

Gaz., No. 8121, 4b. 

Part of the year he spends, visiting Museums, ib., No. 6135, lb. 

Of particular interest are the participle-constructions after: 

1) such verbs as to catch, to surprise and to take, the participle mo= 
difying the object. Compare Ch. XX, 21. 

Old Momus caught me construing off the leaf of a crib. Hughes, Tom 
Brown, II, Ch. VII, 309. 

She caught a glimpse of him walking up and down between the roses. 
Acn. and Eg. Castle, Diamond cut Paste, II, Ch. VII, 192. 
Acta:on. A huntsman, who, having surprised Diana bathing, was turned 
by her into a stag and torn by his own dogs. Annandale, Cone. Diet., 
s. v. Actxon. 

The participle, of course, modifies the subject when the sentence 
is thrown into the passive voice. 

I suppose these fellows have been taken robbing your house. Smollett, 
Rod. Rand., Ch. XVII, 115. 

2) to be long, to be a long time and similar phrases. Compare Ch. II, 37 f. 

People thought he would not be long getting through his property. Thack., 

Pend., II, Ch. XX, 218. 

We were a long time delivering a bedstead at a public=house and calling 

at other houses. Dick., Cop., Ch. Ill, 14b. 

He had been an unconscionable time dying. Mac, Hist., II, Ch. IV, 12. 

I have been some time answering your question. W. Morris, News 

from Nowhere, Ch. X, 69. 

d) Sometimes there does not seem to be any particular preposition 
expressing the exact adverbial relation. 

What should such fellows as I do crawling between heaven and earth? 

Siiak., Haral., Ill, 1, 130. 

I shall be contented waiting here for the year to come round to bring you 

both to see me. Temple Thurston, The City of Beaut. Nons., Ill, 

Ch. XIV, 337. 

We are little likely to be afraid of him fighting on. Westm. Gaz., No. 6122, 2a. 

51. Obs. I. In generalizing sentences there is sometimes no particular (pro)* 
noun to which the participle can be said to refer. 

Is not a bouquet rather in the way dancing? El. Gi.yn, Reflect, of 
Ambros., Ch. III. 

II. The suppression of the preposition, although leading to vagueness, 
has this advantage that it enables the speaker to express a wider 
range of relations than the use of the preposition would involve. 
Thus in Sweet's sentences, cited above, the relation between what 
is expressed by the head^sentence and the participle^clause appears 
to be a blending of cause and time, so that it would not have 
been adequately expressed by by. 


Thus also the participle^construction in the second group of the 
above quotations, although, apparently, implying a distinctly 
temporal relation, may be replaced bv a gerund instruction with 
different prepositions. Compare the following quotations 

i. l'hc first half hour was spent in piling up the fire, (\m Austen, Pride 

and Prej., Ch. XI, 57. 
ii. Katharina spent more time than necessary over dressing for dinner. 
M\k. Ck\\\i., Kath. Laud., II, Ch. XIV, 247. 

III. It should also be observed that, in explaining a given construction, 
it is often exceptionable to assume the suppression of a word. 
This assumption seems to be proper only if it can be proved that 
such a word is sometimes met with in parallel cases, or was 
employed in an earlier stage of the language. Thus, although it 
seems probable that the construction in the above quotations has 
arisen through the dropping of a preposition, it would certainly 
not do assume the suppression of a preposition in a large number 
of sentences in which also the participle forms part of a clause in 
the function of predicative adnominal adjunct. This will soon be 
brought home to the student if he takes the trouble of glancing 
through the numerous quotations given in Ch. XX, 12 ft. We 
copy a few, in which suppression of a preposition is out of the 
question. Also Curme (E. S., XLV, 372) warns against hastily- 
assuming the suppression of a preposition. 

The doctor, having felt his pulse, and examined his wounds, declared 

him much better. Fielding, Jos. Andrews, I, Ch. XVI, 47. 

Having had no facilities for learning, he was forced to teach. Mai . 

War. Hast., (635b). 

Seeing a crowd, I stopped. Sweet, N. E. Gr. ?; 2344. 

Lady Holmhurst presently left the room, leaving them to settle it as 

they liked. Rid. Hag., Mees. Will. Ch. XVII, 169. 

We tied to the hills, seeking shelter and walking all night. Manch. 

Guard., V, No. 18, 346d. 

IV. For a full discussion of those cases in which a verbal in ing, 
through the loss of the preposition on (or an) or in, has changed 
its grammatical character, the student is referred to Participle, 
s; 6. Obs.VII and VIII. 

The Gerund compared with the Past Participle. 

52. Although the past participle has, grammatically, nothing in 
common with the gerund, this seems a suitable place to discuss 
a case in which a construction with the one is equivalent to a 
construction with the other 


a) In such sentences as 

He heard the chain and bolts withdrawn. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XVI, 146. 
He had never seen a human being killed. Reade, The Cloister and 
the Hearth, Ch. X, 57. 

the logical object of the predication in the head*sentence is 
represented by the grammatical object and the following par? 
ticiple together with their modifiers. Indeed, this word*group 
would, in many cases, bear being replaced by another cons 
sisting of the -f~ gerund -f- adnominal adjunct with o/(14, 32). 
Thus the first of the above quotations might be turned into 
He heard the withdrawing of the chain and bolts. 

b) Also in other connexions (pro)noun -f- past participle has 
the value of a gerund^combination 

1) In literary language we find constructions which bear some 
resemblance to the well*known Latin idioms post urbem 
conditam, ante Christum natum, post hoc factum, 
in which noun -f- past participle stands after a preposition 
governing an accusative. 

Bacchus, that first from out the purple grape | Crush't the sweet poison 

of misused wine, | After the Tuscan mariners transform'd, | Coasting the 

Tyrrhene shore, as the winds listed, | On Circe's iland fell. Milton, 

Comus, 48. (= after the transforming or transformation of the Tuscan 


'Twas at the royal feast, for Persia won | By Philip's warlike son. Dryden, 

Alexander's Feast, /. 

Not tho' he built upon the babe restored; | Nor tho' she liked him, 

yielded she, but fear'd | To incense the Head once more. Ten., Princ, 

VII, 60. 

By this the lazy gossips of the port, | Abhorrent of a calculation crost, \ 

Began to chafe as at a personal wrong, id., En. Ard., 470. 

Lo! ever thus thou growest beautiful | In silence, then before thine answer 

given | Departest, and thy tears are on my cheek- id., Tithonus, 44. 

2) More common, but also, to all appearance, purely literary 
is a construction in which the same combination, noun -{- 
past participle, stands as the subject, or, more rarely, as 
the non^prepositional object. Also this construction may 
be an imitation of a Latin original. Thus Tennyson's 
things seen are mightier than things heard (En. Ard., 762) 
appears to have been suggested by Horace's Segnius 
inritant animos demissa per aurem | Quam quae 
sunt oculis subjecta. Ars. Poet., 180—181. (= things 
communicated through the ear stir men's feelings less 


powerfully than things that arc set before die eyes, lor 

discussion or' the constructions under 1) and 2) see also 
Birger Palm, The Place of the Adjective Attribute 
in English, § 21; Jespersen, De to Hovedarter av 

Grammatiske Forbindelser, B S and B 10. 

i. Freeze, freeze, thou bitter skv, | That dost not bite so nigh | As ben 

■ot. Sunk. As vou like it, II, 7. 1S6. (= the .forgetting of benefits.) 
Since the day I When foolish Stena's ribaldry detected \ Unfix'd vour 
quiet, you are greatly changed, Byron, Mar. Fal., II, 1, (361a). 

The guilty saved has damn d his hundred judges, ib., II, 1, (361b). 
New shores descried make every bosom gay, id., Ch. liar, I, XIV. 
It has often been observed that one truth concealed gives rise to a dozen 
current lies. Wash. Iky , Dolf Heyl. (Stof., Handl., I. (120). 
Cruel massacres followed by cruel retribution, provinces wasted, convents 
plundered and cities raised to the ground make up the greater part of the 
history of those days. Mac, Hist., I, Ch. I, 10. 
Here her hand Grasp' d made her vail her eyes. Ten., Guin., 65 7. 
ii. Nor is it Wiser to weep a true occasion lost, id., Princ, IV, 50. 


53. Most grammarians hold that we ought to distinguish two sub; 
stantival verbal forms in ing, viz.: the gerund and the verbal 
noun, the former mainly verbal, the latter mainly substantival 
in character. It is, of course, easy to see that in some cases 
the verbal features, in others the substantival features of the 
verbal come to the fore. But, as has been shown in the above 
discussions (17—24), there are a great many cases in which the 
gerund exhibits at once verbal and substantival features. Though 
it cannot be said that in all of them these several features appear 
with equal prominence, any line of demarcation which should 
divide gerunds from soscalled verbal nouns seems to be drawn 
more or less arbitrarily. 

a) 1) Thus when a preposition precedes a gerund which is foU 
lowed by either an object or an adverbial adjunct, or by 
both, we have no hesitation in saying that the substantival 
nature is subservient to the verbal. This is, for example, 
the case in making a speech, the expediency of getting 
up early, the necessity of writing the letter at once. 

2 1 Also when a genitive or possessive pronoun precedes a 
gerund which is accompanied by the above verbsmodifiers, 


the verbal features seem to be more marked than the sub? 
stantival, as in his breaking his arm, her staying in the town. 

b) Conversely one is inclined to ascribe rather a substantival 
than a verbal character to the gerund when it stands without 
any verb=modifier and is only attended by some adnominal 
adjunct, an adjective making it practically purely substantival. 
Thus in The story took an hour in the telling, I heard a 
knocking, There was some dancing, I admire his singing, I don't 
like this shouting, I don't believe in early rising. 

c) But it seems, among other cases, difficult to decide whether 
the verbal or substantival character preponderates, 

1) when another adnominal modifier than a genitive or a 
possessive pronoun precedes a complex gerund (2), as in 
this being kept in suspense, the not being hurried, the being 
born in a workhouse, the having been caught in such a 
strange act of charity, there is no being shot at without 
a little risk. 

2) when a definite or indefinite article precedes a gerund 
with an object or an adverbial adjunct, as in the quitting 
my home, the scaling him, a turning English into French, 
the running away in such haste. 

3) when the gerund stands entirely by itself, and is not 
preceded by a preposition, as in swimming is healthy, 
saving is having, I like skating, both infinitives and nouns 
of action being, found in the same positions. 

Thus the gerund looks like a verbal form by comparison 

with the infinitive in: 

Travelling was recommended to her. Mac, Mad. d'Arblay, (723a) | 
But: To travel in such severe weather was out of the question. 

It appears as a substantival form by comparison with 

the noun of action in: 

Powwow. A ceremony of the North American Indians especially one 
where magic was practised and feasting and dancing indulged in. Murray. 

54. Nor can differentiation between a gerund and a so-called verbal 
noun be defended on historical grounds, the substantival verbal 
in ing in its present applications being, by common consent, 
the lineal descendant of practically only one form, the Old 
English noun of action in ing (earlier ung). See below 58—64. 


From these considerations it does not seem advisable or even 
justifiable to distinguish two verbal forms in ing, and as no 
useful purpose is served by any differentiation it seems needless 
to insist on it. 

55. Also JESPERSEN appears to lean to the view that any attempt to distinguish 
between the two verbals in ing is rather futile. I lis bestowing on them 
the common denomination of ings (Growth and Structure, §200 ft.) 
hardlv bears another interpretation. 

Similarly Cl K.Mt'.s statement (E, S., XLY, ~>S9), "There is but one gerund 
and it is always a noun even where it has a strong verbal force" implies 
that in his view the variety of grammatical potentialities in the verbal 
in ing affords no sufficient ground for differentiation. 
Kruger (Verm. Beitr., 20), while admitting that the verbal in ing can 
often be replaced by a noun of action, especially one in ion or tion, vet 
contends that we have to deal with a gerund, not a verbal noun, in such 
sentences as He takes (a) pleasure in contradicting (— contradiction), Living 
is combating (= Life is a combat, a struggle, a strife). The same grammarian 
(Verm. Beitr., 22) holds that the only adnominal adjuncts by which the 
gerund can be preceded are a possessive pronoun, a demonstrative pronoun 
and the indefinite no. As the same adjuncts may, of course, be found 
before a verbal noun, we are, if we endorse his reasoning, confronted 
with the difficulty to decide when the form in ing is a gerund, when it 
is a verbal noun, in the case of any of these adjuncts preceding. The 
writer's reasoning seems to lead to the conclusion that in such a sentence 
as A letter announced his coming the form of ing has to be looked on 
as a verbal noun, whereas in A letter announced his coming in great haste 
(or some such adverbial adjunct of quality), it has to be regarded as a 
gerund. But it is difficult to see any difference either in meaning or in 
grammatical function between coming in the first and in the second sentence. 
Similarly it would require subtle reasoning to define the difference between 
the forms in ing in two such sentences as No whispering there! and No 
whispering there in such an offensive way! Nor, indeed, is there any 
essential difference in meaning and grammatical function between the 
forms in ing as used in My friend's singing disturbed me, in which singing 
would be set down as a gerund, and My friend's loud singing disturbed me, 
in which it would be pronounced a verbal noun. 

56. From what has been said above, it must not, of course, be in; 
ferred that all substantival forms in ing which have been derived 
from verbs, should be regarded as gerunds. Many such do not 
express any action or slate at all and are, therefore, to be appre* 
hended as pure nouns. This is the case with: 

a) a large number of nouns which have a distinctly material 
meaning, denoting things which may be understood to be 


in a subjective or objective, or also in a local or instrumental, 
relation to the action indicated by the verb from which they 
have been derived. Of these a great many appear exclusively 
or preferentially in the plural. 

Thus covering — that which covers, or with which a thing is 
covered; dripping = melted fat which drips from roasting 
meat; holding = land which is held by legal right, especially 
of a superior; sewing = work sewn; digging(s) = a place 
where digging is carried on, especially in gold?fields; lan= 
ding = a place for disembarking passengers or unlading 
goods, also a platform in which a flight of stairs terminates; etc. 
Similar interpretations may be put upon bearings, binding, 
blacking, clipping(s), cutting(s), drainings, drawing, earnings, 
engraving, hanging(s), incomings, leavings, lightning, losings, 
outgoings, parings, savings, scrapings, shavings, stitching, sur= 
roundings, sweepings, winding, winnings, workings, writing, etc. 

b) many nouns of a collective meaning denoting the substance 
or material employed in the action or process indicated by 
the verb from which they have been derived. 
Thus clothing = things employed in clothing; roofing = 
things used in roofing, etc. 

A similar collective meaning can be traced in bedding, car= 
peting, ceiling, edging, flooring, gearing, gilding, housing, lining, 
rigging, shipping, tackling, tiling, etc. 

Note. The ing=nouns here referred to have, for the greater part, been 
formed from verbs that have been derived from nouns, and it is with 
the latter that they are most closely associated. Some have been formed 
direct from nouns, there being no corresponding verb. Such are 
coping, piping, scaffolding, tubing; bagging, quilting, sacking, sheeting, 
shirting, trousering, etc. These latter formations are especially frequent 
in industrial and commercial language. 

The following quotations, arranged according to the alpha? 
betical succession of the ing=nouns in question may be accept? 
able to the student: 

If Russia intervenes she (sc. Turkey) may find that the question of Asia Minor 

has been thrown into the boiling with that of her European territory. Westm. 

Gaz., No. 6294, lb. 

Pig with pruin sauce is very good eating. Goldsmith, She stoops, II. 

I'm for plain eating, ib. 

I wonder when it (sc. the nation) will begin to see the folly of spending 

so much on eating. Westm. Gaz., No. 5555, 4b. 


And Enid beard the dashing of his fall, Suddenly cane, and at his side 
all pale I Dismounting, loosed the fastenings of his arm ier. and 

En., 511. 

No small part of these Speeches consisted of the merest personalities, and of 
attempts to represent the Coalition Liberals as injured innocents, who are 
the constant butt of plots on the part of Mr Asquith's following. Westm. 
Gaz., No. -sols, 2b. 

A sum of £ 200.000 is needed to put it (sc. the Scout movement) on a 

sound footing. T i m e S , No - 209, 5 5 a. 

There is now a very heavy fall in the demand for shipping. Westm. ('.a: , 

No. 8591, 4 a. 

Shipping is being laid up tor want of goods to carry, ib., 861s, 4a. 

There's some writing on it (sc. the card). Pinero, Mid»Channel, IV, (220) 

This agreement has not been put into writing. Westm. Ga:, No. i->20\ lb. 

Grace was pre-eminent in all his writing which was at once easy and pointed. 

Athen., No. 4422, 93a. 

57. Some words in ing, although having no material sense, are only 
remotely associated with an action or state, denoting as they do, 

a) an event, a state, or ceremony characterized by or resulting 
from an action. Thus meeting, in the sense of an assembly 
of a number of people for purposes of discussion, legislation, 
etc. Thus also gathering in a similar meaning. Further in? 
stances are wedding (i. e. nuptial ceremonies), christening (in 
an analogous meaning), and a great many others, such as 
merry-making, outing, sitting, etc. in certain of their meanings, 
which need no definition in these pages. 

b) an art or ability acquired by assiduous or constant practice 
of an action. Thus reading and writing in such a sentence 
as Reading and writing are now common acquirements. Of 
a similar meaning are drawing, engraving, fencing, swimming, etc. 

Note. It is difficult to find an appropriate name for these words in 
ing. Noun of action is not quite suitable. Nor is abstract noun 
more serviceable, on account of its vagueness and its varied application 
by different grammarians. The term half^gerund might, perhaps, 
be used to good purpose, if it were not for the fact that it has been 
employed by Sweet and his followers for an entirely different function 
of the word in ing. 

Under these circumstances there seems no alternative but to stretch 
the denomination gerund sufficiently for it to include these words 
in ing of an immaterial meaning, which, although associated with an 
action or state, do not denote an action or state in the strict sense 
of the word. 


Here follow some quotations with gerunds more or less of 
the nature described above, not a few of them being ad? 
mittedly examples of a doubtful nature, and included after 
some hesitation. 

Then came... orchards of fruiMrees in full bearing. Sam. Butler, Ere; 
vvhon, Ch. IX, 90. 

He began from very low beginnings, and odd stories are told about the origin 
of his fortune. Thack., Newc, I, Ch. VIII, 90. 

He has betaken himself to the high and honourable calling of letters. Rid. 
Hag., Mees. Will, Ch. IV, 42. 

He isn't to take any notice of the crossings=out in red ink. Arn. Bennett, 
The Card, I, Ch. Ill, 7. 

And ever in her mind she cast about | For that unnoticed failing in herself. 
Ten., Cer. and En., 46. 

It may be doubted whether even now a number of petitions ought not to 
be brought without regard to the recent findings of judges. Westm. Gaz., 
No. 5231, 4 b. 

The Government definitely refuse to publish the findings of the Strickland 
Report. Times, No. 2303, 138 d. 

The party conference . . . will produce its own schemes to be brought before 
a special gathering on January 27. Westm. Gaz., No. 8591, 2a. 
She felt sure there must be goings-on when her back was turned. Amber 
Reeves, The Reward of Virtue, Ch. II, 16. 

Some unforeseen happening may change their minds. Times, No. 2298, 23d. 
Another cause which makes candidates unwilling to attempt prosecutions or 
to bring petitions is the remembrance of judgments in certain recent hearings 
of election petitions. Westm. Gaz., No. 5231, 4b. 
A little learning is a dangerous thing. Pope, Es. on Crit, II, 215. 
He seemed to have the makings of a very nice fellow about him. Dick., 
Pickw., Ch. XXXVII, 343. 

You've not the makings of a Porson in you, or a Leibnitz either. G. Eiiot, 
Fel. Holt, II, Ch. XVI, 258. 

Serious people, who know how vital to this country and to the world is a 
friendly relationship between Britain and America, will be quick to realise 
its meaning, Westm. Gaz., No. 8597, 2a. 

Larger political questions were referred to meetings of the Prime Ministers. 
Times, Rev. of the Year 1920, lc. 

After payment of necessary outgoings, he has a larger proportion of his 
income remaining for luxuries and saving. Westm. Gaz., No. 8574, 23a. 
He was a man of great reading. Thack., Newc, I, Ch. VIII, 97. 
The German Government made strong representations that in view of the 
disturbed state of the country and the communist risings, they could not 
carry out the clauses of the Treaty. Times, Re v. of the Year 1 9 2 0, Id. 
He is, according to his showing, guilty of a twenty-thousand=fold act of 
treason. Rev. of Rev., No. CC, 161b. 

I he corn duty, on their own showing, could not possibly injure anybody. Times. 
On this showing all Governments would be open to the same reproach. 
Westm. Gaz., No. 6465, la. 

1 lad it not been for that factor, South Bucks would have made a better 
showing, ib., No. 6465, 3a. 


The Government . . . insist on keeping the investigation or the Mallow 

shootings in military hands. Times, No. 2303, 13.Sd. 

Pool aunt J, she was in a regular taking. Agn. \m hi, Diam. 

cut Paste, II. c:h. II, 133. 

He's a man of an excellent understanding. Goldsmith, She Stoops, I, (170). 

The complete fulfilment of British undertakings is not likely to be delayed 

when the people of India have fully proved their capacity in the art of 

government. Time v. 2301, "'Sd. 



58. The origin of the gerund has been the subject of much specu; 

lation, and the rise of some of the syntactical applications of 

which it is capable has not yet been satisfactorily cleared up. 

The following exposition is not based upon any independent 

investigation, but rather intended as a summary of the views 

ventilated by various scholars. 

Many of the following quotations I owe to the courteous assistance of 

my friend Dr. \Y. v. d. Gaaf, to whose extensive reading and sound 

knowledge of Old and Middle English I have great pleasure in paying 
a grateful tribute. 

59. The main source of the gerund, as we know it in Present 
English, is the noun in ung or ing, or its inflected form in 
unge or inge. 

According to Einenkel (Die Entwicklung des englischen 
Gerundiums, Anglia, XXXVIII, 5), ung was the ordinary 
ending in Old English, ing appearing but occasionally. See, 
however, Deitschbein, System, § 60, 1. 

Nouns in ung (or ing) seem to have been formed originally 
rrom nouns in a way which has its analogue in the formation 
of such words as schooling, shirting, stabling, etc. in Modern 
English. As some of the nouns from which such words in ung 
or ing were derived, were also used as weak verbs, the latter 
came to be regarded as the stems of these derivatives. This 
led to the formation of similar words from other weak verbs, 
even including such as were of French origin. Gradually the 
practice was extended to strong verbs, and towards the beginning 
of the sixteenth century words in ing, which had become the usual 
termination, or yng, which towards the end of this period was used 
as a frequent variant, could be formed from practically any verb. 


It may be interesting to the Dutch student to observe that the 
ing^nouns were, originally, as limited in number as similar 
formations in Dutch, which has verkooping, verspreiding, 
wandeling, ontroering, etc., but not *ko oping, ::: spreiding, 
"'looping, *roering, etc. 

60. The process described above may have been accelerated by the 
present participle becoming uniform with the mg=noun. It may 
be assumed that this levelling commenced in those dialects in 
which the suffix of the former was inde; i. e. in those spoken 
in the south and some of the adjacent Midlands. With persons 
speaking any of these dialects it may have become a habit to 
drop the oral dental d after the nasal dental n, i. e. to change 
inde into inne. The latter suffix could not fail to be frequently 
confounded with that of the verbal nouns in inge, the point 
nasal being often replaced by the back nasal, and vice versa, 
in unstressed syllables after highsfront or midsfront vowels. 
These substitutions may still be observed in the language of 
many illiterate speakers of the present day, who may be con* 
stantly heard to say capting, hitching, etc. instead of captain, 
kitchen, etc., and conversely puddin, nothin, readin, etc. instead 
of pudding, nothing, reading, etc. 

The stressless positions of the suffixes must, moreover, have 
occasioned a frequent dropping of the final e, which in course 
of time became regular. 

The confusion was, no doubt, aggravated by the futile attempts 
at accuracy of some precisians, who, objecting to the back nasal 
being replaced by the point nasal, made a point of re-establishing 
the former, and, being often ill*informed, effected this so-called 
correction in the wrong place. 

Some further comment on the endings of the present participle in Middle 
English may be acceptable. 
a) In the Southern dialects the normal ending was inde. 

+ 1280. Idul nolde he neuere beo: ake euere doinde he was. South Eng. 

Legendary, 116, 557. (= Idle he would never be, also he was always 


al fastinde he lay | At pio holi mannes toumbe. ib., 173, 2545. (= Fasting 

he lay at the tomb of that holy man.) 

Swete lorde . . . Ich am cominde to pine feste. ib., 416, 469. (— Sweet 

lord, I am coming to thy feast.) 

1272 — 1307. Selde comep lone lahyndc horn. Hendvnc;, Pro v., XXV (Skeat, 

Spec.) (= Seldom cometh loan laughing home.) 


1340. Wider oure b ct art ine heuenes | y=haljcd by b' name, ccminde \>i 
riche. Dan Michel of NoRTiicArt, Sermon (Skeat, Spec, 105). 

The same form of the present participle is to be found in the Kentish 
A ven bite of In wit (1340) (or Remorse of Conscience) and many 
other texts. 

b) In the early texts of most Midland dialects the normal ending is entie 
but the later texts, through Southern influence, mostly have inde. 

dr 1150. Gif twi men tjb cr ° r '' coman ridend to an tun, al b<' tunscipe 
rlugen for heom. The Peterborough Chronicle (Emerson, Mid. Kng. 
Read., 4). (= If two or three men came riding to a town, all the inhabitants 
Hew to meet them.) 

The following quotation is of some interest: 

11th cent. Forbe be nr >e munecas \>xre aeran andan awyrpende, bysene oberne 
mid hatan wyline so3re lufe Jeornlice bejan. Bibl. des angels. Prosa, 
Vol. II, fc>7 | 1 (ed. Sciiroek). (= Therefore then, monks rejecting the first 
(kind of) zeal (should) practise this other eagerly with the hot passion of 
true love.) N. B. Three Mss. read awyrperme. 

In the romance Havelock the Dane (author unknown), written 
about 1300, the ending is usually ind(e), but encie occurs in line 2702: 
driuende (= driving); while the Northern ending ande is found in 
line 22S5: gangande (= going). In the same work the gerund ends 
in ing(e), but in one case it has ende, viz. in line 1386 : he hauede his 
offrende (= ojfering) on the auter leyd. 

c) In the Northern dialects the ending was and. 

before 1300. Vpstegh reke in his ire, | And of face of him brent b e fire; 
Koles b at ware dounfalland Kindled ere of him glouand. Northumbrian 
Psalter, XVII, 25—26 (Skeat, Spec). (^ Smoke rose (from his nostrils) in 
his ire, And from out of his face burnt the fire; | Coals that were falling 
down | Are kindled glowing by him. Compare Auth. Vers., Psalm XVIII, 8.) 

1303. Echone seyd to oper jangland, | bey toke neuer gode at Pers hand. 
Rob. of Brlnne, Handlyng Synne, 5595 (Skeat, Spec). (=^ Each said 
chattering to the other | They never took alms from Peter's hand.) 
1350—1360. b e herd sat ban . . . | Cloultand kyndely his schon. William 
of Palerne 14 (Skeat, Spec). (— The cowherd sat then . . . | Patching 
in his usual manner his shoes.) 

1375. His man said, 'schir, that may nocht be; | Abyde ge heir, 3e sal soyn 
se | V hundreth larnand 3ou to sla. John Barbolk, The Bruce, Book VII, 11 
(Skeat, Spec). (= His man said,' Sir, that must not be; I Abide you here, 
you shall soon see | Five hundred yearning to slay you'.) 

d) In the Southern and Midland dialects inge, or ynge, as a participial 
ending began to appear ± 1200, and gradually ousted the original 
endings inde or ende. In the Northern dialects the participle ending 
and maintained itself longer; in some, indeed, the participle and the 
gerund ending are still distinguished, being respectively, and or an', 
and ing or in'. See Ml kkav, s. v. and and ing i . 



rb 1250. Nil bqpe two pes swite pinge | Crle hire mere! al wepinge. F lor is 
and Blauncheflur. (Emerson, Mid. Eng. Read., 38/7-/.) (= Now both 
these sweet things (or creatures) weeping cry to her to have mercy upon them.) 
1356. the holy lond, that men callen the lond of promyssioun, or of beheste, 
passynge all othere londes, is the most worthi lond. Mandeville, Prologue, 3 
(Skeat, Spec). 

1362. A Feir feld ful of folk, fond I per bi=twene, | Of alle maner of men. 
pe mene and pe riche, | Worchinge and wondringe. as pe world asketh. 
Langlanu, Vision, Prol., 19 (Skeat, Spec). 

± 1380. Jhon was in desert baptisynge, and prechinge the baptym of penaunce. 
Wyclif, Mark, 1 (Skeat, Spec). 

± 1420. I gave them my playnt Vppon my knee; | They lyked it well, 
when they had it reade: | But, lackyng mony, I could not be sped. Lydgate, 
London Lyckpeny, V (Skeat, Spec). 

rfc 1420. his (sc Chaucer's) hye vertu astertesh | Vnslayn from the, which 
ay VS lyfiy herteth | With bookes of his ornat endityng, | That is to alle 
this land enlumynyng. Thojvias Occleve, Lament for Chaucer, II (Skeat, 
Spec). (= his high virtue escapes | Unslain by thee, which will for ever 
give encouragement | With books of his ornate enditing | That is illumining 
to all this country.) 

61. Nouns in ing having thus to the ear become indistinguishable 
from the participle in ing, the way was paved for extending 
the constructions of the latter to the former, in other words 
for the noun in ing to become capable of practically all the 
constructions which are peculiar to verbs. In course of time 
we, accordingly, find it, like the present participle, capable of 
being modified by any variety of adverbial adjuncts, taking a 
nonsprepositional object, and showing the distinction of voice 
and, to a certain extent, that of tense. 

The development of the verbal character in the nouns in ing 
was most probably furthered by the influence of the French 
en — gerondif. This appears from the frequency of constructions 
with in, instead of the older on, in Middle English. 

rb 1250. pu sittest in longynge. O. E. Misc., 201 (ed. Rich. Morris). 

pe sorouful soulus in hel ]jat were per in turmentyng. ib., 262. 

rh 1280. Heo was a gast (— aghast) and in feringue (= in fearing). Childh. 

Jesus, 75 (ed. Horstmann). (Compare in grcte feting, ib., 467; in mourninge. 

ib., 749.) 

1303. Pers lay yn hys slepyng. Brunne, Handl. Synne, 5723. 

rh 1350. And thei seye, that we synne dedly in schavynge oure Berdes. 

Maundeviixe. 1 ) 

± 1387. I slow Sampsoun in shaking the piler. Chauc, Cant. Tales, A, 2466. 

') Kellner, Hist. Outl., § 417. 


Interesting is the following quotation with on - : gerund, tor which one 

manuscript has in gerund: 

And, as he lay on deying in a traun.ce. ChaUC, Cant. Talcs, 13, 3906. 

Also the uncertainty which attaches to the interpretation of 
certain constructions may have been of some influence in this 
direction. Thus, as has already been pointed out (35, a), in 
such a sentence as Pardon the boys saying so the object of 
pardon is the boys saying so, in which saying is the head^word, 
the boys the modifying element. But there is another, although 
less rational interpretation, according to which the boys is the 
object of pardon, saying so modifying the boys. The latter 
interpretation, which to an unschooled mind would, most 
probably, appear more plausible than the former, would lead 
to the view of considering saying as a present participle. 

62. a) The first traces of the noun in ing assuming a verbal regimen 
consist in its taking such adverbial modifiers as down, in, 
etc. This came about by such compounds as downcoming, 
dcwnfalling, ingoing, etc. being resolved into their component 
parts and the adverb being placed after the verb, which 
resulted in such forms as coming down, falling down, going 
in, etc. The earliest instances of this altered practice appear 
about the middle of the fourteenth century. 

± 1444. We pray you hertily, that ye wil yeve (— give) attendaunce at 
such day and place as ye ... shal mow (= may, be able) attende to the 
making up of the seide evidence;. Paston Let., No. 43. 

rt 1464. the same Prentys toke of Wylliam Dally nge at Norwyche V mark 
for smytynge of of hese feteris when he was there in preson. No. 144. 

± 1440. Rysynge vp from set (= seat) or resty nge place. Promptorium, 
Parvulorum col. 375 (ed. Mayhew). 

The following is, however, a much earlier instance of the gerund being 
modiHed by an adverb standing after it: 

± 1275. be appostels thurgh pvecheing lele (= loyally) | Gederd ( — gathered) 
pam (dative) desciples fele (= many). 140 225. Alteng. Legenden, 
Neue Folge (ed. Horstmann). 

b) The construction in which the noun in ing governs a non? 
prepositional object may also have arisen from a transposition 
of the component parts of such compounds as peacemaking, 
bookselling, etc. mentioned in 39. Of such compounds 
instances may be found in the earliest English. Kellner, 



(Hist. Outl., § 416) quotes some which would not be 
tolerated in Present English. 

-+■ 700. Biscopas mid folcum buton xnigre are sceawunge fornumene wsron. 

Bede, Eccles. Hist., I, 5 (ed. Schipper). (= Bishops and people without 

any *mercy=shoiving were destroyed. Probably an imitation of the Latin sine 

ullo respectu honoris.) 

± 1175. bi his clobes wrixlunge. Old Eng. Horn., I, 207. (= by his 

*clothes=ch a nging.) 

rfc 1377. late usage be Jowre solace of seyntes lyues redynge. Piers Plowman , 

Text B, VIII, 87. (— let the custom of *the lives of the saints reading be 

your solace.) 

Further instances are found in: 

rt 1300. for oure lord ennoyntynge. CursorMundi, Cotton M. S., Insert 

tion after 95. 

rfc 1300. of triiage askyng he had wonder. Brunne, Chron., 4263. 

(truage = tax, tribute.) 

Heigh labour, and ful greet apparaillinge | Was at the service and the fyr= 

makinge. Chauc, Cant. Tales, A, 2914. 

Redeth the Bible, and finde it expresly | Of wyn^yeving to hem that han 

justyse. ib., C, 5S7. 

+ 1464. Master Constantyn sewyd (= sued) hym for feith and trowth 

brekyng. Paston Let., No. 490. 

The following are early instances of the new practice, which 

appears to have come in about the last quarter of the 

fourteenth century. 

1455. He be meke to God in not amyss tempting God agens reson. Pecock, 

Repressor, I, 13. 

Here upon y durste leie a waiour (= lay a wager) of lesing (— losing) 

myn arme. ib., I, 82. 

dz 1470. I suppose that he hath slayn her in fulfyllynge his fowle lust of 

lechery e. Malory, Morte Darthur, 166/19 (ed. Sommer). 

c) When the verbal regimen of the noun in ing had been fully 
established, we find the construction with the definite article 
and a prepositional phrase with of varying with that in 
which this form is followed by a non*prepositional object. 
Both are found in: 

Concerning the means of procuring unity, men must beware that, in the 
procuring or muniting of religious unity, they do not dissolve and deface the 
laws of charity and of human society. Bacon, Es., Of Unity in Religion , 8. 
(to munite — to fortify, to strengthen.) 

d) By the side of these constructions we sometimes meet with 
that in which the mg=word is not preceded by any adnominal 
modifier, beyond a potential adjective, and followed by of. 
The verbal may, or may not, stand after a preposition. 


Sometimes two different constructions are found in one and 
the same sentence. Thus in some of the following quotations, 
which seem to show that the construction with of is rarely 
used when the object of the action is represented by a pronoun. 

i. Afterward, in getting of your richesses and in usinge hem. ye shul alwey 
have three thinges in your herte. ChauC, Cant. T., B, 2813. 
I am in bildyng of a pore house. Paston Let., No. 348. 
Thou art so fat-witted with drinking of old sack and unbuttoning thec after 
Supper and sleeping upon benches after noon that thou hast forgotten 
to demand that truly which thou wouldst truly know. ShaK., Henry IV, 
A. I, 2, 2. 

I had the misfortune to displease him by unveiling of the future and 
revealing all the dangers. Lytton. 1 ) 

ii. ± 1420. Vnto the Rol![e]s I gat me from thence, | Before the Clarkes 
of the Chauncerye, | Where many I found earnyng of pence, | But none 
at all once regarded mee. John Lydgate London Lyckpeny, V 
(Skeat, Spec). 

1545. and lykewise as burnyng of thistles and diligent weding them oute 
of the come doth not halfe so moche ryd them as when ye ground is 
falloed. Roger Ascha.m.*) 

e) According to Curme (E. S. XLV, 362), it was not until 

the close of the sixteenth century that the gerund began to 

adopt formations showing distinctions of voice and tense. 

In Roger Ascham's works there are no instances of complex 

gerunds. Thus: 

1545. A shootynge Gloue is chieflye for to save a mannes fyngers from 
hurtynge. Toxophilus. (Present English: being hurt.) 

Similarly the following quotations show that at one time 
the gerund was neutral as to voice. 

1330—1340. pe toper (sc. thyng pat clenses vs) es: schryft of mouth, again 
pe syn of mouth: | And pat selle be hasty withouten delaying. | Naked with* 
outen excusyng. | Hale with=outen partyng. Rich. Rolle of Hampole, Works, 
I, 25, Cambr. M. S., ed., IIorstmann. (— the other is shrift of mouth 
against the sin of mouth. And that shall be hasty (i. e. must be done at 
once) without being put off. Naked without anything being excused. Entire 
without being' divided (i. e. the whole sin must be confessed without part of 
it being kept back). 

1455. Poul wrote his bothe Epistles to Corinthcis eer he was bounden by 
prisoning in Rome. Pfcock, Repressor, I, 57. (—being imprisoned.) 
Whanne money or other temporal good-. . . is to be paied ... it may iustli 
be restreyned and ajen holde (— withheld) from paiying. ib., II, 384. 
(= feeing paid.) 

') Deltschbein, System, § 60. 
! ) Clrme, E. S., XLV, 352. 


1458. It please you to remembre (— remind) my maister at your best leiser, 
wheder his old promise shall stande as touchyng my preferryng to the Boreshed. 
Paston Let., No. 318. (= my being preferred.) 

The following are the earliest instances of the gerund showing 
the distinction of voice that have come to hand: 

1585—1591. by being unto God united. Hooker, Eccl. Pol., I, XI, § 2.') 
Thou wert dignified enough, | liven to the point of envy, if 'twere made 
Comparative for your virtues, to be styled | The under=hangman of his kingdom, 
and hated | For being preferr'd so well. Shak., Cymb., II, 3, 136. 

Complex gerunds showing tense are yet very rare in 
Shakespeare. See 31. 
Murray, s. v. ing cites: 

1580, Want of consideration in not having demanded thus much. Sidney, 
Arcadia, I, 68. 

Even for a considerable time after Shakespeare's days the 
simple gerund was mostly used for the complex, in other 
words continued neutral as to voice and tense, which, as we 
have seen (25 — 27) it is, to a considerable extent, even in 
Present English. 

63. The construction in which the common case of a noun or the 
objective of a personal pronoun stands before the word in ing 
has been traced to quite early times. Kellner (Hist. Outl., 
§ 418) quotes: 

1330—1340. Alle waters als pai sail rynne ! And pat sal last fra pe son rysyng \ 
Till be tyme of pe son doungangyng. Hampole, Pri eke of Consci ence, 4777 f. 
± 1400. After the sunne goyng down. Wyclii-f, Gen., XXVIII, 11. 

The construction may have been used in direct imitation of 

Latin originals with participles. 

rfc 700. se be Diocletiane lyfgendum Gallia rice rehte. Bede, Ec. Hist., I, 8. 
(= qui vivente Diocletiano Galliam rcgebat.) 

^X'.^■s he be Qaem brciSer lifigendum wrxeca in Gallia, ib., II, 15. (= qui vivente 
adhuc fratre cum exularet in Galliam.) 

Thus also the participle form is used in: 

To»janes po sunne risindde. Old Eng. Miscellany, 26. 2 ) (—towards the 
time of the sun rising.) 

± 1275. Tipings come to pe Emperoure, | pat . . . A fer cuntre bud him wend 
to | For chargeand thinges pat war to do. Alt eng. Leg., Neue Folge (ed. 
Horstmann.) (= Tidings came to the Emperor, that . . . commanded him (to) go 
to a far country, for ordering things that were to be done.) 

') iMlJKKAY. 

2 ) Kellner, Hist. Outl., § 418. 


64. A secondary source of the gerund is, perhaps, to be traced to 
the inflected infinitive, which, so far as it ended in ende or 
indc, must have had a tendency of taking the suffix enge or 
inge. This may have given rise to the notion of there being 
two infinitives, e. g. : (to)binden and (to)bindenge or bindinge. 
This notion would appear all the more rational, because also 
in Latin and French there were also two forms, viz.: the infini* 
tive proper and, respectively, the gerundium and the gerondif , 
differing only in grammatical function. 

The second form (tojbindenge or bindinge gave way to the first 
(to)binden when purely verbal functions had to be expressed, 
but maintained itself when distinctly substantival functions made 
themselves felt. In the latter case it coalesced with the verbal 
noun in ing. 

The use of ende instead of en(n)e as the ending of the inflected 
infinitive is characteristic of the South and Southeast Midlands. 
The ending ende occurs in three Mss. of Wulfstan's Homilies 
(B, D and N) viz.: to halgiende {34/15), to smeagende (185/6), 
to cwedende (185 7), to swerigende (253 7), to fyligende (253/9). 
There are a few in the interpolations in Ms. A (Parker) of 
the Old Eng. Chron. and 11 instances in Ms. F. 

The ending ende for enne is also frequent in the Early Mid. 

Eng. Rule of St. Benet (ed. Schroer), in the Trinity 

Homilies and the B text of La3amon. 

± 1010. pact is ofer eal gemet to smeagende . . . and on mycelre care to 

cweo'ende. WutFSTAN, 185 5—7. (= that is beyond all measure (i. e. exceedingly) 

to be considered . . . and with great care to be said.) 

± 1200. Ne com ic to donde mine a3enum willan. Rule of St. Benet, 

29/5 = 35 23. (= Non ueni facere voluntatem meam.) 

pe nyJeSe eadmodnysse staepe is, gef peo mynecena hyre tunga forwyrno5 to 

specende. ib., 39/27. (= Nonus humilitatis gradus est, si linguam ad loquendem 


1298. As pe hende he dude verst. and messagers him sende, \ pat he Vnderstode 

him bet. is dedc vor to amende. Robert of Gloucester, Chronicle (Skeat, 

Spec, 14). (= Like a courteous man he did first and sent messengers to him 

That he should consider to amend his deeds better.) 

± 1275. pe resone whi J^at he hight swa, Es pis pat to vndirstandige is | 

"A doufe sonne" in propir yngliksse. Alteng. I.egenden, Neue Folge, 77 45 

(ed. Horst.mann). (— The reason why he was called so is this that it is to be 

understood "A dove's son" in proper English.) 

± 1275. he poujt nou$t: on noping to comyng (rimes with ping). Barlaam 

and Josaphat, 94 (Horst.mann, Alteng. Legenden). (= He thought not 

of nothing to come.) 


A generacioun to comyng schal be teld to the Lord. Wyclif, Psalm XXI, 32. 

(= Vulgate: Annuntiabitur Domino generatio ventura.) 

Nyle 3e gesse that I am to accusinge Jou anemptis (= anent) the fadir. id., 

John, V, 45. (= Vulgate: Nolite putare quia ego accusaturus sim uos apud 


The following quotations are remarkable as showing different 
readings in two different Mss.: 

± 1200. saeie me of £>an fcinge • pe me to cumen sonden. LaJamon, A, 1643 

= sai me of pan pinge : j^at me beop to comende. LaJamon, B. (= tell me 

about the things that are to come (i. e. to happen) to me.) 

£>is isaeh Childric ! and gon him to charren. ib., A, 21 266 = pis i*seh Childric • 

and gan him to flende. ib. B. (^= this saw Childric and began to turn himself 

= to flee.) 

fiftene pusend anan! prafte to blawcn. ib., A, 27 815. = fiften pousende '■ prafte 

to blowend. ib. B. (= fifteen thousand anon thronged to blow.) 

Confusion of final infinitives with final gerunds will appear 
natural enough on comparing the above with the following 
quotations given by Curme, E. S., xlv, 379. 

pa steorran sint mannum to nihtlicere lihtunge gesceapene. Sweet's Sel. Horn, 
of Alfric, 28. (= the stars are created to give light to men at night.) 
summe nolden his lare underfon heom sylfe to rihtunge. Twelfth Cent. 
Horn., 8. (= Some did not desire to receive His teaching for the purpose of 
reforming themselves.) 

pe Haslend to heom spasc swiSe ilome on moni3e bijspellum, heorae mod to 
trymynge. ib., 18. (= the Lord had spoken to them very often in many parables 
in order to strengthen their minds.) Curme observes that mod is here an accusative, 
for the dative would be mode. The distinction between the dative and accustive 
of nouns is well preserved throughout this book. 

Similar final gerunds are found in: 

zt 1000. Swa swa we awriton seror on oSrum larspellum to geleafan trimminge 
Aelfr. De Vet. Test., 4. 15. (= as we have written before in other homilies 
for the strengthening of the faith. Cf. Dutch . . . ter versterking des geloofs.) 
Se cyning Set msere hus Gode betashte him and his folce to trymminge. Thorpe, 
Horn., II, 578, 22. (— The King dedicated the glorious edifice to God for the 
edification of himself and his people.) 

Observe also that the gerund is sometimes used in Shakespeare 

where Present English would have a passive infinitive. Thus in: 

Behold what honest clothes you send forth to bleaching! Merry Wives, IV, 
2, 126. (=to be bleached). 

Throw foul linen upon him, as if it were going to bucking, ib., Ill, 3, 140. 
(= to be washed.) 

The gerunds in the following quotations have a similar function: 

Put the liveries to making. Merch., II, 2, 124. 

I Iappy are they that hear their detractions and can put them to mending. 

Much ado, II, 3, 238. 


65. The change of the infinitive in en into one in ing may have 
come about through the same cause as that which affected the 
Old English participle in ende or inde, i. e. one with which 
every Englishman of the present day is familiar, who at any 
moment may hear chicken, children, garden, luncheon, etc. 
pronounced chicking, childring, garding, lunching, etc. Compare- 
also the archaic beholding for beholden. 



Name, Tense and Voice §§ 1-6 

Syntax §§ 7—44 

The Verbal and Adjectival Character of the Participles §§ 7 — 18 

The Present Participle in Detail §§ 19—27 

The Past Participle in Detail §§ 28—40 

The Participles compared with allied Verbal Forms ... §§41 — 44 



1. Participles are those forms of the verb which partake of the 
nature of both verbs and adjectives. 

For a comparison of the verbal and adjectival features in par? 
ticiples see 7. 

2. There are two participles: the present and the past participle, 

e.g.: speaking, spoken. 

The terms present and past, as applied to the participles are objectionable, 
seeing that neither is capable of expressing the time=sphere (Zeitstufe) 
of an action or state. This is done by other elements of the sentence, 
mostly by the (finite verb of the) predicate, sometimes by an adverbial 
adjunct. Thus the timessphere of the action denoted by walking is, respecti= 
vely, expressed by meet, met, shall meet in Walking home I meet (met, 
shall meet) my friend. The adverbial adjunct some time ago indicates the 
timessphere of the action expressed by erected in A column, erected some 
time ago, stands in front of the building. 

Also the terms active, instead of present, and passive, instead of past, 
which are used by some grammarians, are equally open to objection. The 
term passive cannot possibly be applied to the participle used in the perfect 
tenses of an intransitive verb as in / have walked a long way. 
The terms imperfect and perfect would be quite suitable as far as the 
simple forms (walking, walked) are concerned, seeing that they are descrip* 
tive of the two characters or aspects implied by these verbals; but, as they 
are currently applied to express tense=distinctions in the finite verb, their 
employment gives rise to uncertainty in nomenclature, besides entailing 
difficulties in naming such complex forms as having walked, having been seen. 
It seems, therefore, advisable to retain the time-honoured terms present 
and past. Compare Den Hertog, Ned. Spraakk., Ill, § 97, Opm. 

3. In virtue of its verbal character the present participle is capable 
of exhibiting the distinction of: 

a) tense, but, as in the case of the infinitive and the gerund, 

only to show that its time*sphere is anterior to that of the 

predication with which it is connected, e. g. : imperfect 

present participle walking, perfect present participle, 

having walked. Only the perfect present participle requires 


Society having ordained certain customs, men are bound to obey the laws of 
society. Thack., Snobs, Ch. I, 16. 

The clock having struck, we had to go. Meicklejohn, The Eng. Lang., 91. 

Not having received an answer, I wrote again. Sweet, N. E. Gr., § 2344. 

Having seen all that was to be seen at Rome, we went on to Naples, 
ib., § 333. 


b) voice, e. g. : active present participle hearing, passive 
present participle being heard. Only the passive present 
participle requires illustration. 

The water plug being left in solitude, its overflowings suddenly congealed. 

Dick., Cliristm. Car., I. 

Not being seen by any one, he escaped. Swn r, N. E. Gr., § 333. 

c) tense and voice combined, e. g.: perfect passive present 
participle having been observed. 

These injuries having been comforted externally, with patches of pickled brown 
paper, and Mr. Pecksniff having been comforted internally, with some stiff 
brandy=and=water, the eldest Miss Pecksniff sat down to make the tea. Dick., 
Chuz.. Ch. II, 6b. 

Sir Walter Besant was in his 65th year, having been born at Portsmouth on 
August 14, 1836, Times. 

Note «) Like the infinitive and the gerund, the present participle is 

incapable of indicating that its time=sphere is posterior to that of the 

predication with which it is connected. It differs, however, from these 

two verbals in never or, at least, very rarely implying such posteriority. 

For some further comment see the Addenda and Corrigenda. Corns 

pare Infinitive, 57, b; Gerund, 9, Obs. I. 

As in the case of the infinitive and the gerund, certain phrases such 

as to be about, to be going, etc., are sometimes resorted to to supply 

the want. 

The train being about to start, he took a hurried leave of his friends. 

,5) The present participle also resembles the infinitive and the gerund 
in that it is not affected by a change of time«sphere in the predication 
with which it is connected. Compare Infinitive, 57, a; Gerund, 
9, Obs. II. See also Tense, 12, c. 

t he is a liberal protector of all charities. 
Being well=to=do, ! he was a liberal protector of all charities. 

I he will be a liberal protector of all charities. 

}') Neither tense nor voice can be expressed by the present participle 
when used attributively, or when forming part of an undeveloped 
clause that has the value of a relative clause (i. e. an attributive ad; 
nominal clause introduced by a relative pronoun). Compare Ch. XX, 3. 

4. The distinction of tense is not always expressed; i. e. the imper- 
fect present participle sometimes has to do duty for the perfect. 
Apparently this applies chiefly to complex sentences in which 
the relation of the participle clause to its headssentence is one 
of pure time. 

Passing through the wall of mud and stone, they found a cheerful company 
assembled. Dick., Christm. Car. 5 , II, 65. C— having passed.) 
So spake the kindlyhearted Earl, and she | With frequent smile and nod depart- 
ing found, | Half disarrayed as to her rest, the girl. TtN., Mar. of Ger., 515. 
(== having departed.) 


Now this was very warm advocacy on the part of Mr. Tombey, who, being 
called in to console and bless, cursed with such extraordinary vigour. Rid. Hag., 
Mees. Will, Ch. VI, 59. (= having been called in.) 

The emperor Diocletian had thirty=three infamous daughters, who murdered their 
husbands, and being set adrift in a ship reached Albion, where they fell in with 
a number of dragons. Cobham Brewer, Diet, of Phrase and Fable, s. v. 
Gog and Magog. (= having been set adrift.) 

5. The active present participle is often used in a passive meaning, 

a) when modifying the subject of a sentence or clause with (there) 
is or its variations. 

i. I guessed there was some mischief contriving. Swift, Gul., II, Ch. II., 143a. 

There is nothing doing. Dick., Domb., Ch. IV, 29. 

Sheets of ham were there, cooking on the gridiron; half=a=dozen eggs were 

there poaching in the frying=pan. id., Chuz., Ch. XLIII. 333a. 

Whenever Kew and Charles Belsize are together, I know there is some 

wickedness planning. Thack., Newc, I, Ch. X, 123. 

There is an answer waiting. Sweet, N. E. Gr., § 332. 

There is a glorious dish of eggs and bacon making ready. Edna Lyaix, 

In the Golden Days, 
ii. In the ashpit was a heap of potatoes roasting. Hardy, Far from the 

Madding Crowd, Ch. XV, 117. 

Similarly in : All round the present town the ruins of Kilkenny's former 

greatness testify to the decay. Nothing doing. Eng. Rev., No. 106, 273. 

There can hardly be much doing. Edna Lyaix, A Hardy Norseman; 

Ch. XVI, 145. 

b) when used in the function of nominal part of the predicate. 

Well, my lord: | If he steal aught the whilst this play is playing, | And 'scape 

detecting, I will pay the theft. Shak., Ha ml., Ill, 2, 93. 

If they do so much labour after and spend so many tears for the things 

of this present life, how am I to be bemoaned, pitied and prayed for! My 

soul is dying, my soul is damning! Bunyan, Grace Abounding, 320. ') 

While this ballad was reading. Goldsmith, Vic, Ch. VIII, (281). 

The horses are putting to. id., She Stoops, IV, (218). 

A part of the game was cooking for the evening's repast. Wash. Irv., Dolf 

Heyl. (Stof., Handl., I, 130). 

Preparations were making to receive Mr. Creakle and the boys. Dick., Cop., 

Ch. VI, 40 b. 

Let them look abroad, and contemplate the scenes which were enacting around 

them. Stage = coaches were upsetting in all directions; horses were bolting, 

boats were overturning and boilers were bursting, id., Pickw., Ch. I, 3. 

We asked him if he knew what was doing in it. id., Bleak House, Ch.LXV, 531. 

"Have you seen any numbers of The Pickwick Papers?" said he (they were 

then publishing in parts). "Capital thing!" Mrs. Gask., Cranf, Ch. I, 21. 

While these preparations were making in Scotland, James called into his 

closet Arnold Van Citters, who had long resided in England as Ambassador 

from the United Provinces. Mac, Hist., II, Ch. V, .116. 

') Franz, Shak. Gram. 

The King said lhat he had received from unquestionable sources intelligence 
designs which were forming against his throne by his banished sub 

in I lolland. ib., 117. 

While dinner was preparing', he sat in the arbour to read a hook. v - 

Similarly in: How little the things actually doing around us affect the springs 

ot our sorrow or joy. LyTTON, My Novel, II, XII, Ch. X, 412. 

she looked a trifle gauche, it struck me; more like a country girl with the 

hovden taming in her than the well; bred creature she is. Mered., The 

Egoist, II. 2S0. 2 ) 

c) when modifying the object of verbs of perceiving and 
occasionally other verbs that may take an accusative with 

i. I hear some fiddles funing. Farcjuiiar, Const. Couple, V, 3, H27) 

I can t say how I knew it was my dear, dear mother's coffin that they 

went to look at. I had never heard one making. Dick., Cop., Ch. IX, Co 

When Joe and I got home, we found the table laid, and Mrs. Joe dressed, 

and the dinner dressing, id., Great Expect., Ch. IV, 30. 

Annie seem'd to hear | Her own deatfuscaffold raising. Tins-. son, Enoch 

Arden, 175. 

"Simon, is supper ready?" — "Ay, my liege, I saw the covers laying". 

id., Queen Mary, III, 6, (625a). 

I have read of such things in books of the ancients, and I have watched 

them making continually. KlNGSLEY, II ere ward, Ch. XXV, 106 a. 

To-morrow I shall expect to hear your mother's goods unloading. Tn. 

Hardy, Tess, VI, Ch. LI, 461. 

I saw the thing shaping. Westm. Gar., No. 5277, 4b. 
ii. And any man, wherever placed, however far from other soucres of interest 

or beauty, has this doing for him constantly. Rlskin, Mod. Paint., 

II, HI, Ch. I.") 
iii. I want a button sewing on. Mason, Eng. Gram. s *, § 200, N 

I want these (sc. rabbits) sending off by the first train. Punch, 

No. 3995, 66b. 

d) in constructions instanced by the following quotations, the 
active form of the present participle appearing to be archaic 
and rare. Compare Ch. II, 38, Obs. I. 

Women are angels, wooing. Siiak., Troil. & Cres., I, 2, 512. 

That piano of ours is a jolly long time mending. Zancw ill, The Next 

Religion, II. 91. 

6. Obs. I. It will have been observed that among the above quotations there 
are none in which the active present participle in a passive meaning 
is connected with a word denoting a person. The following are the 
onlv instances that have come to hand: 

) GOkih., Man., § 619. 

'.'». Aronstein, Die Periphr. Form im Eng., Anglia Xi.!l. 17. 



Coming home to=night, a drunken boy was carrying by our constable 
to our new pair of stocks. Pepys, Diary. 1 ~,U, 66 1 ). 
Being a boy of fourteen, cheaply educating at Brussels when his sister's 
expulsion befell, it was some little time before he heard of it. Dick., 
Our Mut. Friend, I, Ch. II, 21. 

The rareness of the above construction in connection with a person? 
indicating word will create small wonder if it is borne in mind 
that in the majority of cases its use would involve ambiguity or 
awaken incongruous notions. In Late Modern English the passive 
voice has taken the place of the active (Obs. Ill), while in those 
days in which this passive construction had not yet established 
its footing in the language, the exceptionable active construction 
would be avoided by the use of some other form of expression. 

II. As to the construction mentioned under a) it may be observed 
that substitution of the passive present participle would hardly 
be tolerated by idiom. Save for the forms with doing, the con* 
struction, however, seems to be unfrequent. 

III. As nominal part of the predicate the active present participle with 
passive meaning is now getting more and more unusual, modern 
practice mostly substituting the passive present participle. 

We are always being complained of and guarded against. Dick., Chimes, 
I, 11. 

Whenever fights were being talked of, the small boys shook their heads 

wisely, saying, "Ah! but you should just have seen the fight between 

Slogger Williams and Brown". Hughes, Tom Brown, II, Ch. V, 286. 

His temper only failed him when he was being nursed. Sweet, N. E. 

Gr., § 2222. 

The festivities at Cagliari, where the King and Queen of Italy are being 

received with great enthusiasm by the people of Sardinia ... are attract* 

ing a good deal of notice in Italy and throughout the continent. 

Times, 1899, 249a. 

The work which is being carried on appeals by its practical side to a 

colonial statesman of eminently practical capacity. Times, 1899, 265b. 

Despite many adverse criticisms, the affairs of England in Ghina are not 

being neglected. II. Lond. News, 1899, 421 C. 

Twelve months ago the effects of the coal strike were still being felt. 

Westm. Ga'z. No. 6223, 2b. 

'I he public will be shocked to learn that three men holding first = class 

certificates are being employed as managers for not more than £ 200 a 

year. Twelve are being paid not more than £ 200 a year, ib., No. 8086, 5 a. 

Substitution of the passive for the active present participle is, 
however, impracticable after to be in the perfect and pluperfect 
tenses. See especially Storm, ring. Phil. 2 , 793. 

The birds were in blissful ignorance of the preparations which had been 
making to astonish them. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XIX, 162. 

') Ph. Akonstein, Die Periphr. Form im Eng., Anglia, XLII, 16. 


At length some supper, which had ban wanning up, placed on the 

table. ib.. Ch. XVII, 153. 

He s.u down to the dinner that had ban hoarding for him bv the tire. 

id., ( hn stm. ( .ir . IV, 97. 

Nor would the passive present participle be possible after the 
future tense and the periphrastic conditional of to be. It should, 
however, be added that also the active present participle with 
passive meaning in like positions seems to be non-existent, no in; 
stances having come to hand of such sentences as ^The book will 
(would) soon be printing. 

The active voice is regularly retained in the present participle of 
to owe is still quite usual in that of to do, and, apparently, frequent 
enough in that of to build. 

i. A man's property and the sums owing to him are called his Assets; 

the sums owing by him, his Liabilities, Hamilton and Hall, Books 

keeping, 5 . 

(He) paid all that was owing. Cone. Oxf. Diet. 

Similarly: When Martha's wages and the rent are paid, I have not 

a farthing owing. Mrs. Gask.. Cranf., Ch. XIII, 250. 
ii. We asked him if he knew what was doing in it. Dick., Bleak 

House, Ch. LXV, 531. 

The good people knew all that was doing at London. Lytton, My 

Novel, I, V, Ch. VIII, 317. 

The peal and flash of gun after gun gave notice, from three different 

parts of the valley at once, that murder was doing. Mac, Hist., VII, 

Ch. XVIII, 24. T. 

He took for granted that nothing had been done in Glencoe beyond 

what was doing in many other glens, ib., 28. 

In this part of the world we are all so close together that everybody 

knows what is doing in the territory of everybody else. Times. 
iii At the end of March 1919. 4.183,523 tons were actually building. 

Times, No. 2298, 25b. 

Similarly: The tonnage building in the United Kingdom at the end 

of last year was 3.708,906 tons. 

The destruction of vessels now building would require a fairly large 

amount of money. Manch. Guard., V, No. 21, 408c. 

Passiveness is more or less dimmed, passing into mere intran* 
sitiveness, in certain present participles when they assume the 
character of adjectives or have the value of a preposition, either 
by themselves or in connexion with another preposition. Thus 

missing, as in: There is a page missing. A page is mis 

Cone. Oxf. Diet. 

He was missing during the whole day. Dick., Pickw., Ch XI, 89. 

owing, as in: All this was owing merely to ilbluck. Cone. Oxf. Diet. 

Ou'/iig to the drought, crops are short, ib. 

wanting, as in: One of the twelve is wanting. We have the 

means, but the application is wanting. Webst. Diet. 

Wanting common honesty, nothing can be done. He made a century 

wanting one run. Cone. Oxf. Diet. 



IV. After the verbs that may take an accusative -j- infinitive the active 
present participle with passive meaning varies with the passive 
present participle, the passive infinitive and the bare past participle, 
There is, accordingly, a fourfold variety of construction, illustrated, 
respectively, by («) I want a button sewing on, (,5) / want a button 
being sewn on, (;0 I want a button to be sewn on, and (')') I want 
a button sewn on. To these we may add a fifth construction, 
consisting of a head=sentence and a subordinate statement introduced 
by that: I want that a button shall (more frequently should) be 
sewn on. This last construction is common enough after most 
verbs of wishing, (dis)liking or commanding (Mood, 21, Obs. I), 
but is distinctly unfrequent after to want. The following are the 
only instances which have come to hand: 

She did not want that Harry should quarrel with his aunt for her sake, 
Thack., Virg., Ch. XVIII, 187. 

He seems to want that his wife should suspect the new crime he has 
in hand. Hudson, Note to Macb., Ill, 3, 52. 

Here follow some quotations for illustration, a few of con* 
struction «) already given higher up being repeated for comparison 

Verbs of perceiving. 

Construction ((() : I hear some fiddles tuning. Farqlhar, Const. 

Couple, V, 3, (127) 

Construction (/•?): As to his title, he said that he felt himself being 

called names in his old age. Hor.Walpole, Castle of Otranto, Introd., 4. 

Marjory watched the breakfast being removed with a sort of dumb anger. 

Mrs. Alexander, A Life Interest, I, Ch. VII, 117. 

The incidents which we see being debated at the end of this affair seem 

trivial and petty. Westm. Gaz., No. 6199, lb. 

At last Mr. Ismay saw the boats being launched. T. P.'s Weekly 

No. 499, 674 c. 

He was to watch us being drilled by the sergeant. Dos. Hankey, The 

Beloved Captain, IV, 7. 

Construction (;'): instances non-existent. 

Construction (J): They had never seen a human being killed. Reade, 

The Cloister and the Hearth, Ch. X, 57. 

I saw him thrown out of hix trap. Swtft, N. E. Gr., § 531. 

Constructions («) and (J) are both fairly common, although not 
nearly so usual as construction (<?). They always imply a distinctly 
durativc character (or aspect), whereas the last construction may 
be either momentancous (or perfective), as in the two above 
quotations, or durative (or impei fective), as in: 

I perceived him led through the outward hall as a prisoner. Smol., 
Rod. Rand., Ch. XVII, 111. 

Sometimes also the character is far from clear. Thus in: 

What was his discomfiture when he heard the chain and bolts withdrawn 
and saw the door slowly opening, wider and wider! Dick., Pickw., 
Ch. XVI, 146. 

1 SI 

Verbs of wishing, (dis)liking or commanding: 

nstructioo (<0 I want these (sc. rabbits) sending off by the tirst 
train. Punch, No. 3995, 66b. 
Construction (fi): Our people don't like things being ordered and left. 

Dilk., Cop., Ch. V, 35a. 

You and I don't like our pictures and statues being found fault with. 

G. Eliot, Mid., IV. Ch. XXXIX, 288. 

Construction (;'): Christ desired his mysteries to be spread abroad 

as openly as was possible. Green. 

He commanded the bridge to be lowered. Mason, Eng. Gram", $ 397. 

instruction ('I): i. He wanted a Bill passed for forbidding the sale 
of alcohol in any form. BIRMINGHAM, The Advent, of Dr. W'hitty, 
Ch. III. 66. 

He wants these two letters posted. Dok. Gkk.\ki>, Exotic Martha, 
Ch. XVII, 207. 

He went on to ask whether she had any relatives to whom she wished 
the news of her plight communicated, ib., Ch. XX, 233. 
Monkley told the Baron that he did not wish anything said about 
Sylvester's father. Comft. Mackenzie, Sylv. Scarlett, Ch. II, 68. 
ii. You can tell me what you would like done in the rooms. G. Eliot, 

Dan. Der., II, IV, Ch. XXIX, 73. 

You must tell us exactly what you would like done. Con. Doyle, 

Mem. of Sherl. Holmes, II, D, 191. 
iii. He stood to it that Mr. Carlyle had ordered the work done in another 

way. Mrs. Wood, East Lynne, I, 257. 

I ordered my bill made out. S M y Official Wife, 185 

Construction (a) is confined to some dialects of the Northern 
Midlands. Earle (Phil. \ ^ 580 h) observes, "While we are on 
this flexional infinitive (by which he means what is called a gerund 
in these pages), I must call attention to a welbmarked provincialism, 
which might be thought to belong here. In all classes of society 
in Yorkshire it is common to hear Do you want the tea making? 
I want my coat brushing. Father wants the door shutting. I think 
this is not an infinitive, but a strong participle in en disguised 
to ing." Construction (,i) seems to be distinctly uncommon, only 
a few instances having turned up. Construction (;) is the ordinary- 
one, while construction (>)), although not unfrequent after to want, 
to wish, to like and to order, is, apparently, rarely, if ever, used 
after most of the synonymous verbs. From the available evidence 
no conclusions can be drawn as to different shades of meaning 
implied by the various constructions. 

Finally it may be observed that the verbal in ing, whether active 
or passive, on the strength oi its logical relation to the preceding 
(pro)noun, may, with some justice, be regarded as a gerund. This 
applies especially to such as stand after verbs of wishing, (dis)hking 
and ordering. For detailed discussion see Gerund 35, a. 
The active present participle with passive meaning should be 
distinguished from present participles in like grammatical functions. 


which are apparently passive, but are really intransitive, their 
original transitive application having through various processes 
been changed into an intransitive one. 

i. This, madame, ... is selling very well. Wells, The Wheels of 

Chance, Ch. I, 7. 

SeecWpotatoes are now selling at from £ 12 to i' 15 a ton. Eng. 

Rev., No. 99, 155. 
ii. The door was open, and a number of carriages full of ladies were 

drawing up and setting down. Thagk., Sam. Titm., Ch. II, 22. 

There were no soldiers drilling. Westm. Gaz., No. 8098, 4b. 

Comparing such sentences as This is selling very well («), and 
Her eyes were filling with tears (^) with such a sentence as The 
house is building (y) it is easy to see that in («) and (/?) the passive 
meaning which attaches to the participle is independent of its 
grammatical function, whereas in (y) it extends no further than the 
participle in the particular function in which it is used. Thus we 
could very well say This article sells well, has sold well, etc , with 
the verb to sell in precisely the same, apparently, passive meaning, 
but ''The house builds, has built, etc. are impossible. 
VI. The passive present participle as a variant of the active present 
participle with passive meaning is of comparatively recent date. 
Kruger (Synt. 2 , 4 Abteil., § 2362) mentions an instance from the 
Calendar of Spanish State Papers, Elizabeth, 1558—67; 
Murray's earliest instance (s. v. be, 15, c) is dated 1596; Fitzedvard 
Hall (Ralph Olmsted Williams, Some Questions of Good 
English examined in Controversies with Dr. Fitzed ward 
Hall, New York, 1897, page 56) has unearthed a goodly number 
of instances from pre=nineteenth century English, the earliest ins 
stance being dated 1667. But, although sporadic instances have 
been brought to light from sources of an earlier date than the 
first quarter of the nineteenth century, the construction did not 
gain general currency until the middle of the last century. It has 
been obliged to fight its way against considerable opposition from 
purists and hidebound grammarians, but is now generally recognized 
as an established and useful idiom. See Henry Alford, 'The 
Queen's English 8 , § 312. 
VII. About the rise of the active present participle in a passive meaning 
quite an extensive literature has sprung up in the last few years. 
See Stoffel, Taalstudie, III, 321 ff; Bradley, The Making of 
Eng., Ch. II, 70; Storm, Eng. Phil. \ 787 ff; Alfred Akerlund, 
AWord on the Passive Definite Tenses, E. S., XLVII, 334 ff ; 
Curme, History of the English Gerund, E. S., XLV, 371; 
jESPERSEN.Tidog tern pus, IX; K. F.Sunden, A Categ. of Predic. 
Change in Eng., Es. II, 104; Franz, Shak. Gram. 2 , § 665; 
Einenkel, Hist. Synt. 3 , § 3. 

The theory which has received the most general recognition and 
has been shown by Jespersen (Tid og Tempus, 416 ff) to be 


practically unanswerable is that the verbal in ing in such sentences 
as The house is building was originally a gerund, preceded bv the 
preposition in, earlier on often weakened into an. The preposition 
an, owing to its unstressed nature was often reduced to a mere 
prefix a, which, as it did not express any distinct meaning, naturally 
enough, disappeared. According to K. F. SUNDEN (A Categ. of 
Predic. Change in Eng., Es. II, 104) the construction without 
a preposition or its reduced representative did not obtain any 
considerable currency until the 17 th or the 18 th century, it being 
improbable that it can be traced further back than the 16th century. 
The use of in before gerunds in the function here described is 
common enough in Early Modern English, and has not yet become 
quite extinct. The parallel use of on (or an) -f- gerund does not 
seem to extend into Modern English. Conversely the placing of 
the prefix a before gerunds is still vigorously alive in most of the 
southern dialects, and the vulgar speech both in England and 
America. The prefix o in like position seems to be very rare. 

It may, however, be assumed that in some cases the construction 
illustrated by the house is building, etc., has arisen independently 
of an earlier construction* with an (in or a) -- gerund, and is due 
to the influence of verbs which in all their forms admit of being 
used in a pseudo=passive meaning as illustrated by the book is 
selling well, the book sold well; this fruit is spoiling rapidly, the 
fruit soon spoiled etc. 

Here follow some instances of the constructions of on, in or a - 
gerund. To those with in are added a few in which the gerund, 
mostly making, is preceded by the definite article. 

i. Your wits are gone on wool-gathering. Scott, Abbot, Ch. XIX, 202. 

(Compare: The thoughts of the hare-brained boy went a wool-gathering 

after more agreeable topics, ib., Ch. XX, 217.) 
ii.* A piece many years in doing. Siiak., Wint. Tale, V, 2. 

Forty and six years was this temple in building. Auth. Vers., 

John, II, 20. 

While these sentences are in reading. Book of Com. Pray., 156. 

My hair has been tn training. Sher., Riv. II, 1, (231). 

These here ones as is below, though, ain't reglar thorough-bred 

Sawbones; they're only in frainin'. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XXX, 266. 
*• The man was still in the making, as much as the .Middlemarch doctor 

and immortal discoverer. G. pLior, Mid., II, Ch. XV, l l 

She went on pinning and adjusting a serge skirt in the making. 

Mas. Ward, The Case of Rich. Meyn., II, Ch. VII, 153. 

Not action, but character, and not character formed but in the forming, 

there is the style of Browning's art. Athen., 1889, 85Si>. 

We are bound to assume that all possible suasion was used by the 

Imperial Government while the Constitution in the making. 

Westm. Ga; .. No. 5083, 1 c. 
iii * The feast is sold | That is not often vouch d, while 'tis a-making. i 
T is given with welcome. Sm\k., Macb., Ill, 4, 54. 


When once the long=suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, 
while the ark was a=preparing. Auth. Vers., Peter, A, III, 20. 
While my mittimus was a=making, the justice was withdrawn. Bunyan, 
A Relation of the Imprisonment, (108). 
: Their gallows must even now be o' building. Carl., Sart. Res., 
Ch. Ill, 15. 

Jespersen's theory receives vigorous support from the fact that the 
construction is identical, and often interchangeable, with one in 
which the preposition in stands before a noun of action, and is 
often an exact rendering of the Dutch in -j- noun of action, which 
may end in ing. See also 27, a, 2. 

i. The plot was evidently in execution. Dick., Pick., Ch. XVI, 144. 

(== executing or being executed.) 

The opera is in rehearsal. Punch 1889, 185c. (= rehearsing or 

being rehearsed.) 

It (sc. this prescription) may take a little time in preparation. Thack., 

Pend., II, Ch. XV, 156. 
ii. The house is building = H e t huis is in aanbouw. 

The measure is preparing = De maatregel is in voorbereiding. 

VIII. The prefix a is also frequently found before active participles that 
are not passive in meaning. Thus: 
(«) after to go, to run, to be off, to come and verbs of a similar 

meaning, the participle denoting the purpose of the action 

expressed by the preceding verb. 
(p 1 ) after to set in the meaning of to start or to cause. 
(y) after to fall in the meaning of to begin. 
((>') after the copula to be or in positions where to be may be 

supplied, and also after verbs which approximate to the copula 

to be through weakening of their sense; similarly after verbs 

governing an accusative with infinitive. 
(0 after to burst out. 

In the majority of these connexions this a also represents an earlier 
an (for on), although in some it may be a mere rhythmic insertion. 
The prefix has become extinct in Standard Modern English, but 
is still vigorously alive in the language of illiterates and in dialects 
where, no doubt, it has, at least in part, kept its ground for 
rhythmical reasons. In some combinations it may frequently be 
heard in good colloquial language. Such are to go a=begging, 
a=courting, a=wooing; to set the clock a-going, the bells a=ringing, folk 
a^thinking. See Murray, s.v. a, prep., 13b; Franz, Shak. Gram. 2 , 
^ 665; Storm, Eng. Phil.*, 788; Fijn van Draat, Rhythm in 
Eng. Prose, Anglia, XXIV, 507. 

For to go a^hunting and similar collocations modern Standard 
English mostly substitutes to go out hunting, etc. Further variants 
are to go out a=hunting, etc., which is found but rarely, and to go 
hunting, etc., which is not unfrequent. Such a turn of expression 
as to go to hunt seems to be rare, although the use of to go -j- to -j- 


infinitive in other connexions is common enough. Constructions 

in which the verb to go is followed bv .in infinitive without to 

occur now onlv archaically. Compare Infinitive 34, b. 

To set may be followed bv a bare participle and also, in a some 

what different shade of meaning, bv .in infinitive with to. The 

construction with on gerund is. apparently, still in common use, 

although obsolete with reference to physical movement .is in to set 

on going, packing, etc.. See MURRAY, s.v. setf, 114 b. 

Compare also : There's something in his soul O'er which his melancholy 

on brood. Shak., H.iml., Ill, I, 173. 
After to jail we also find a bare participle, a gerund preceded bv 
in (this but rarely), a gerund preceded bv to, and an infinitive 
with to. 

For further discussion of these constructions, especially of the use 
of the prefix a and the prepositions in, on (or an) before gerunds, 

also Storm, Eng. Phil. 1 , 783 ff; Murray, s.v. a prep. 1 ; id., 
s.v. burst, 6; id., s.v. go, 32; Fijn van Dkaat, Rhythm in Eng. 
Prose. Anglia, XXIV; my Grammar of Late Mod., 
Ch. XIX, § 44, s.v./afl and § 65, Obs. I-IV; my article on Hen* 
diadys in Eng., Neophil., II, 202 ff and 2S4 ff. 

Constructions after to go, to come and similar verbs. 

i. So it befell in the month of May, Queen Guenever called unto her 
knights of the Table Round; and she gave them warning that early 
upon the morrow she would ride on Maying into the woods and 
fields beside Westminster. Sir Thom. Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, 
XIX, Ch. I, 315. 

;i. A duke's income — a duke's — and going a-begging, as I may say. 
Luton, Caxt., I, Ch. Ill, 43. 

Have you any remembrance of what used to happen when .Mr. Grundy 
came a*ivooing. Thack., Yirg., Ch. LXIX, 725. 

I should not like to go a=beggini;. Ch.Bron:". Jane Eyre, Ch. Ill, 23. 
Qualities such as those could never go a-begging for long. John 

SHAM, The Simple Beguiler. 
Politicians cannot have it both ways, and if they are all going a-gunning 
for the moneyed man, the moneyed men naturallv refuse to supply 
them with ammunition. Rev. of Rev., CCXXYI, 3i2r>. 

iii. How heavenly it would be to go out boating such a night as this! 
wnder. For his Sake, I, Ch. V, 83. 
He went out walking. Rid. Hag., Mr. Meeson's Will, Ch, IV. 35. 

iv. The man went out a*shooting. Fiflding, Tom Jones, II, 

You don't want to go out a'Walking. eh Fagin? Die k., Ol.Twist, 234. ) 
He went out to*day a-wooing, id.. Barn. Rudge, Ch. III. 1 5 b. 

v. The valet, wondering whether his master was going masquerading, 
went in search of the article. IhaCX., Fend., II, Ch. II, 24. 
I am going travelling upon a round of visits. id, \ itl'.. 
Ch. XXXVI, 374. 
He meant to go hunting. G Eliot, Mill, II. Ch. I, 119. 

') I Drwt, Rhythm in Eng. Pi '. . XXIV, 512. 


When my uncle says he'll give a gold watch, why, he will give it; 

there's no sham; so if any of you fellows do know about this, 

just go in and earn it. It'll be a shame to let a watch go^begging. 

Mrs. Wood, Orv. Col., Ch. V, 67. T. 

If Isabel Vane were not the lady Isabel, they would think you went 

there courting. Mrs. Wood, East Lynne, I, 121. T. 

I am off shooting. Rid. Hag, Jess, Ch. IV, 54. 

Robert and I go fishing. Mrs. Ward, Rob. Elsm. 

I am not going shooting to=morrow. Black, The New Prince 

Fortunatus, Ch. VII. 

You'll go riding, won't you? Galsworthy, Beyond, II, Ch. X, 145. 

Southampton went soldiering in France. Times, Lit. Sup., No. 990, 9b. 

You won't have to pay for your cabin on the Mauretania. It's 

going begging. Williamson, Lord Loveland, Ch. Ill, 21. 
vi. May I give you the book to-morrow morning before we go to shoot? 

El. Gi.yn, The Reason why, Ch. XXVI, 256. 
vii. In the meantime I'll go to prepare matters for our elopement. 

Goldsmith, She Stoops, IV, (207). 
viii. He went straight from here purposing to go see his uncle. Mrs. Gask., 

Mary Barton, Ch. XXIII, 249. 

Let Mary go find Will. ib.. Ch. XXV, 265. 

The reconstruction of the Ministry may go hang. II. Lond. News. 

Constructions after to set. 

i. He busied himself with . . . making a specification of the expenses, 

that he might show it to Burge the next morning, and set him on 

persuading the Squire to consent. G. Eliot, Ad. Bede, IV, 

Ch. XXVII, 254. 

It was perhaps this that set . . . Jem on stealing my own silver goblet. 

F Pigot, Strangest Journ., 1SN.') 
ii. With the 5000 1. our office must be set a-going. Thack., Sam 

Titm., Ch. X, 151. 

A wandering breeze set now and again the leafy breast a=heaving. 

Ai.N. and Eg. Castle, Diam. cut Paste, II, Ch. Ill, 141. 
iii. With reference to your duties, I can set you going. Dick., Chuz., 

Ch. XXXIX, 509b. 
iv. She set herself to make as light of the whole affair as was possible 

Edna Lyall, A Hardy Norseman, Ch. XXV, 229. 

Constructions after to fall: 

i. And Enid fell in longing for a dress I All branch'd and tlower'd 

with gold. Ten., Mar. of Ger., 650. 
ii. It was not for nothing that my nose fell a=bleeding. Shak., Merch. 

of Yen., II, 5, 25. 

At this we all fell a^crying. Dick., Cop., Ch. II, 11a. 
iii. After a while they Jell crying. Kingsley, Herew., Ch. V, 56b. 
iv. He fell at once to talking about the Squire. Mrs. Ward, Rob. Elsm., 

I, 5S2. 
v. The Queen desires you to use some gentle entertainment to Laertes 

before you fall to play. Siiak., II ami., V, 2, 214. 

') Murray, s. v. set, 114. b. 


The distinction was immediately approved by all, and so the. 
again to examine. Swift, Tale of .1 Tub, (f2o). 
Upon this they fell again to rummage the well, ib.. 63o. 

Constructions after ro £e. etc. 

i. /Ye been a turnin' the bis ness over in my mind, and lie may make 

hisself easy, Sammy. Dick., Pickw. 

You're agoing to be made a 'prentice of. id, Ol. Twist, Ch. III. 

Get some more port, Bowls, old boy, whilst I bu" the bottle here 

What was 1 a*saying?, Van. Fair., I, Ch. IV, 37. 
ii. There was a bishop's lady in the shop, a=buying just such another. 

(?) Aunt Jane at the Sea^shore, Ch. II. 
iii. For he had one only daughter . . . and she lay a=dying. Auth 

Vers., Luke, VIII, 42. 
iv. You don't know how it pleases me, sir, ... to hear you a=gcing on 

in that there uncommon considerate way of yours. Dick., Chu:., 

Ch. XLIII, 533a. 

Constructions after to burst out. 

i. After having looked at me earnestly for some time he burst out 
a=laughing. S.mol., II umph. Clin k., 112 (Tauchn.). 
My uncle burst out a=laughing. Thack., Barry Lynd 

ii. He burst out sobbing and crying. Reade, It is never too late to 
mend, I. Ch. Ill, 49. T. 

IX. Another survival of an ancient practice preserved in dialects and 
vulgar language is the use of the preposition 0/ after the present 
participle of transitive verbs, when connected with the copula to be. 
This use of of goes far to show that in the majority of cases the 
periphrastical form of verbs goes back to a construction with the 
verbal noun (or gerund) in ing. Compare Jespersen, Tid og 
Tern pus, IX, (412). See also Gerund, 33; and Expanded For m,46. 

In vulgar English the participle is also in this construction 
often preceded by the prefix a, which mostly represents an earlier 
an or on, but in some cases may also be a mere rhythmical ins 
sertion. Compare Fijn VAN Draat, Rhythm in Eng. Prose, 
Anglia, XXIV. 

Observe also that such a sentence as She was (a?) writing of a letter 
corresponds to the Dutch Zij was aan het schrijven van 
een brief. 

i. As she was writing of it. Siiak., As you like it, IV, 3, 10. 

Whom I left cooling of the air with sighs, id. Temp., I, 2, 222 
Both warbling 0/ one song, both in one key. id., Mids., Ill, 2. 206. 
My heart is inditing of a good matter. Auth. Vers., Psalm XLV, I. 
Coming out of another room and seeing of me ... he said unto me, 
who is there, John Bunyan? BUNTAN, A Relation of the Im = 
prisonment, (109). 

And verily at my return, I did meet mv God sweetly in the prison 
again, comforting of me and satisfying of me that it was his will and 
mind that I should be there ib., (113). 


Suppose Baker was to come in and find you squeezing of my hand, 
Thack., Lovel theWid., Ch. Ill, 48. 
ii. "They're a=twiggin' of you, sir," whiGpered Mr. Weller. Dick., 
Pickw., Ch. XX, 173. 

Does the boy know what he's assaying of? id.,Barn. Rudge, Ch. Ill, 1 2b. 
She fancied the bull was a^chasing of her again. Mrs. Alex., For 
his Sake, I, Ch. III. 49. 

The vulgar use of this illogical of after other forms of the verb, 

as in the following quotations, seems to be rare. 

1 1- so be you like of the match, why, I am your man. Godwin, Caleb 

Wil., I, Ch. VII, 68. 

Have I offended of your feelings? J. M. Barrie, The Admir. 

Crichton, II, 64. 

X. In conclusion it may be observed that in vulgar language also the 
past participle is sometimes preceded by the prefix a. 

If he hadn't a^got out time enough, I'd a=let him out for Sunday. Thack , 
Newc, I, Ch. XXVI, 291. 

He said he "never could forget the kindness with which the Colonel 
have a=treated him", ib., 296. 


The Verbal and Adjectival Character of the Participles. 
7. As has already been pointed out (1), the participles hold an inters 
mediate position between verbs and adjectives. 
They are like verbs in admitting of the ordinary verbal modi* 
fication by adverbial adjuncts and objects and, chiefly, in in* 
dicating an action or state with a more or less distinct time* 
association; i. e. a notion that the action or state they denote 
is thought of in connection with a certain length of time. They 
differ from the finite forms of the verb in calling forth this 
notion less clearly, and, besides, in being incapable of expressing 
the grammatical distinctions of person, number and mood, and 
in being less precise in marking those of voice and tense. 
They are like adjectives in being applicable as adnominal modifiers 
and in admitting of the same modification as ordinary adjectives (22). 
They differ from adjectives in being associated with time*limitations, 
which are entirely lacking in the latter. Compare Wilmanns, 
Deutsche Gram., Ill, I, § 56; Paul, Prinz. ", § 254; 
Dtutschbein, System, § 58; xMatzner, Eng. Gram. ~, III, 73, f. 
While, however, the participle in the majority of cases is inter* 
mediate between a verb and an adjective, we find it also in 
functions in which it has exclusively, or almost exclusively, the 
characteristics of either the former or the latter. 


8. The past participle is now purely verbal when it is employed 

to assist in forming the complex tenses of the verb, as in / have 

(had or shall have) come. 

In earlier Stages of the language the participle in the complex tenses was 
distinctly felt as an adjective. Thus in Old English the past participle of 
transitive verbs, which was placed alter the object, was often put in the 
accusative, e.g.: he h.vfth anne man ofishegene 1 ) ( = literally he /i,^ a 
man killed), while the past participle of such intransitive verbs, as were 
conjugated with to be, was always in concord with the subject, e. g 
hie u\iron a. farenne*) (= thev were in a state of having departed, Modern 
English they had departed). 

This adjectival character more or less clings to the past participle in tho-e 
constructions in which an intransitive verb is conjugated with to be, a practice 
which, although now obsolete, has left some traces even in the latest English. 

Dickens is not merely alive: he is risen from the dead. Chesterton (II. Lond. 
News, No. 3844, 919 c). 

It may be added that in French the adjectival character of the past par= 
ticiple in the complex tenses is still often shown by the variability of 
its written form, e.g.: Les fleurs, qu'il a cuei Hies. Messoeurssont 
parties. See also Den Hertog, Ned. Spraakk., Ill, § 9S; Paul, Prinz. 8 , 
v Z53; Jespeksen', Growth and Structure", § 206. 

When a state resulting from an action is indicated by a combination of 
to be with the past participle of an intransitive verb, the latter may be 
said to be purely adjectival, to be having the function of a copula. Thus in 

While I am gone, ... I wish you to read over what I have marked in these 
books. Dick., Dorab., Ch. XII, 109. 

For further discussion see also Tense, 15 ft". 

9. Both participles are virtually pure adjectives when the action 
they primarily imply is completely overshadowed by the notion 
of the quality of which this action is understood to be the mani^ 
testation, so that any time*association is absent from the speaker's 
or writer's mind. Thus in a charming young lady (= an attractive 
or sweet young lady), a stolen interview (= a secret interview). 
In its changed application the present participle often expresses 
an inclination or a cast of mind, i. e. a permanent attribute. Ihus 
a romping gitl may stand for a girl given to romping, a grasping 
attorney may have the meaning of an attorney of a covetous cast 
of mind. In the following quotation there are several instances: 

A raging, ranting, cursing scold she is. Frank Harris, The Women of 
Shakespeare, Ch. II, 42. 

l ) Bradlet, The Making of Hng., Ch. II. 
N. E. Gr., § 2166 

TheR.W. B.Jacksc 

iken : 

■ ■ 

- . ■ - 


'-..*! val features appear in various c 

nation is unmistakak. recially the case when 

pie denot- cal or mental action, 

- _• - : : ■ .-.ith 

hrawn sword in his hand, a led h: 

nt when the time^association 
. :ognizable. This applies esp . 

thai the m an fe tat >n '. : an en: - 

... ... 




o r. a 

ce versa. Thus cheering anc : 

. practically 


. V. 

rs was, on the whole, cheering .'•'. 

His: 119 5 ). 


.. : . ; - ...... 




an J fTfmiil ' 


• jW and trembling ace : b v. Radci 

:■- :an,XJ.' J ) 



peaking in a voice 

■nulous with emc 

rtiorj gveaf — very great — bo* t 


tpoo mat person I 

rws tremulous aspen*trt £ : And poplar 

s made a noise of 

falling ihowers. 

var. pid adjective in ;.• 


fiant = defying, i She had started up with defiant word-; ready to burst 
m her lips, but they fell back without utterance. G . Romola, II, 

Ch. XL, 310, 

ii. His impetuous, adventurous and defying character. M ., Pitt, 309 l 1 ). 

existent = existing, i. The quantity (sc. of gold) existent and in circular 
ers, Pol. Econ. 1 in, ::'). 

It gives yon types of existent Frenchmen ... of a very different class. Rusi 

Fors Clav., IV, Ch. XI.III, 153'). 
ii. The existing franchise mav be virtually regarded as manhood suffrage. M( 

Cakthy, Short Hist., Ch. II, Is. 

The question of machinery, or technical procedure, is not relevant, much of 

this ground having been covered by existing institutions. Fng. Rev., No. 113, 


It (sc. the essay) need to deal with the existing struggle, ib., 3 

repellent = repelling, i. Presently the rude Real burst coarsely in — all 

evil, grovelling and repellent as she too often is. Ch. Bronte, Villette, 

Ch. XII. 154. 
ii. The wild steed's sinewy nerves still strain . L'p the repelling bank. Byron, 

.Maneppa. XV. 

resistant = resisting, i. The resistant gravity about his mouth and eyes 

as he was being smiled upon made their beauty the more impressive G. Eliot, 

Dan. Der., I. II, Ch. XVI, 251. 
ii. But the resisting thoughts were not yet overborne, id., Romola, II, Ch. XL, 514, 

resultant = resulting, i. A slip in the physical position has reacted upon 

the moral position or statesmanship with the usual resultant confusions. Eng. 

Rev., No. 115, 369. 

We shall look for an expression of regret at the insufficient rainfall in India 

and the resultant famine. Times, 
ii. There would either be a resulting trust or it would belong to the person who 

takes the estate Jarman, Powells Devises, II, 41 1 ). 

A marked adjectival character is often evidenced by an ordinary ad; 
jective being placed in juxtaposition or contrast to the participle. 

These are but wild and whirling words. Shak., Hamlet., I, 5, 133. 
Such institutions are either public or private, free or paying. Murray, s. v. 
hospital. 3 

His manner was formal, but not surly and forbidding. Readf, It is never 
too late to mend, 1, Ch X, 115. 
ii. She was very weak and reduced. Lytton, My Novel, I, VII, Ch. XV, 467 

11. The verbal principle is distinctly prominent, i. e. the time* 
association is indubitable, in either participle, when it has the 
value of an undeveloped clause or is a constituent of an undeve* 
loped clause. In the latter case the presence of ordinary verb* 
modifiers leaves no doubt of its predominantlv verbal character. 
Also adjectives, indeed, may be used to form undeveloped 
clauses and may be accompanied by the same modifiers as verbs, 



but they may be easily distinguished from participles by their 

being devoid of all time*association. Thus in the following 

sentences, in which the adjectives with their adjuncts represent 

different kinds of undeveloped clauses, the timesassociation does 

not attach to the adjectives, but to the verb to be, which 

becomes evident when the undeveloped clause is expanded into 

a full one. 

The two races, so long hostile, soon found that they had common interests. 
Mac, Hist. I, Ch. I, 15. (— which had been so long hostile.) 
Ardent and intrepid on the field of battle, Monmouth was everywhere else eft'e= 
minate and irresolute, ib., II, Ch. V, 100. (= Although he was ardent and 
intrepid on the field of battle.) 

For a discussion of this function of participles and adjectives the student 
is referred to Ch. XX and XXI, where full details have been given. 

12. The present participle is predominantly verbal in character when 
it is connected with the verb to be to form with it the 
expanded (often called the progressive) form of the verb, 
and also when it is used in a similar combination with the 
copulas to remain (or equivalent verb) or to get (or equivalent 

Also when purely adjectival, the present participle may, indeed, be connected 
with to be to form the nominal part of the predicate, but this construction 
bears only a formal resemblance to the expanded form of the verb, the 
meaning being essentially different. Compare, however, Expanded 
Form, 36. 

It is not surprising that the public has become perplexed. Athen., No. 4b27, 
135 b. (= strange.) 

A new ethic which hitherto /ia.s been utterly lacking among the nations. Eng. 
Rev., No. 115, 580. (= absent.) 

13. The past participle is essentially verbal when it is employed to 

assist in forming the passive voice. Thus in: 

Thousands of letters are received daily. Onions, Advanced Eng. Synt., $ 116. 
Fruit was eaten in large quantities, ib. 

There is no passive voice in the strict sense of the word when the corns 
bination to be -j past participle of transitive verb is used to denote a state 
resulting from an action. In this case the verb to be has the function 
of a copula and the participle is practically a pure adjective. Thus in: 

The letter is written at last. Onions, Advanced Eng. Synt., § 116. 
i he young man's life is just beginning: the boy's leading-strings are cut, and 
he has all the novel delights and dignities of freedom. Thack., Pend., I, 
Ch. XVII, 172 


14. For the rest there is much uncertainty about the prominence 
of either the verbal or the adjectival principle in participles, 
especially when used attributively. As most participles admit 
of indicating either principle in various degrees, the context 
alone is often the only determining factor. 

Thus romping children may mean children engaged in romping, but also 
children given to romping. In the first case romping is prominently verbal, 
in the second almost purely adjectival. The difference is much less marked 
in boiling water understood as water bubbling up under the influence oj 
heat and water at boiling temperature (as opposed to tepid water). 
In such a combination as running footmen, when taken by itself, running 
would on the first blush call forth to the hearer's mind the notion of a 
participle with a distinctly verbal character, but in the following quotation 
it reveals itself almost as a pure adjective: 

At length, late in the afternoon, the KnightsMarshal's men appeared on horseback. 
Then came a long train of runn/n? footmen. Mac, Hist. Ill, Ch. VIII, 99. 

15. Present participles are often transferred from their proper subjects 
to others which are in some way related to them. The change 
is mostly attended by an obscuring of the time^association and 
by a substitution of a notion of a quality for that of an action 
in the speaker's or writer's thoughts. Compare 

a paying guest with a paying business, 
a blooming tree ,, a blooming month, 
a flying bird „ a flying visit. 

The great range of subjects to which such a participle may be extended 
is aptly illustrated by the numerous applications of which the participle 
running is capable (See Murray, s.v.): running water (as opposed to stagnant 
water, or water obtained from a river, brook, etc.), running (i. e. fluid 
mercury, running sand (i.e. sand having no coherence), a running (i.e. 
leaky) water-tap, a running sore, a running lecturer (i.e. a lecturer not 
tied to one locality), running moss, a running metre, a running pulse, 
a running fire (i.e. a rapid and continuous fire), a running fight (i.e. a 
naval engagement carried on during a retreat or flight), a tunning hand, 
a running title (i.e. a short title placed at the top of the page), running 
(i.e. linear) measure, a running (i.e. continuous) comment, a running 
account (i.e. an account allowed to run on for a certain time), the running 
(i.e. current) price, the running gear (sc. of a mechanism), running tackle 
(i.e. tackle capable of moving when pulled or hauled), running rigging, 
a running loop, etc. 

Further instances of transferred participles are afforded by the following 

Be plain, good son, and homely in thy drift; | Riddling confession finds but 
riddling shrift. Shak., Rom. and Jul., II, 3, 56. 



I observed your niece's maid coming forth from a circulating library. Sher. 
Kiv., I, 2. 

aching time! O moments big as years! Keats, Hyp., I, 64. 

We see in him (sc. Burns) the gentleness, the trembling pity of a woman. Carlyle. 

A fresh and blooming month. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XVI, 137. 

In the course of your rambling life, ib., Ch. XVI, 138. 

He was only on a flying visit. G. Eliot, Mid., IV, Ch. XXXVIII, 280. 

Sir James ended with a pitying disgust, ib., 282. 

Then first, since Enoch's golden ring had girt | Her finger, Annie fought against 

his will: | Yet not with brawling opposition she. Ten., En. Ard., 159. 

His letters read full of a sparkling pleasure in the incidents of the tour. Makj. 

Bowfn, The Rake's Progress, I, Ch. I, 2 

16. Also past participles are often transferred from their original 
subjects, but this change concerns only their application as pure 
adjectives. Compare 

a retired gentleman with a retired spot. 

a learned man ,, a learned book. 

a drunken man ,, a drunken brawl. 

In such word-groups as faded cheeks, faded powers, jaded cheese, his faded 
appearance, his faded eyes, faded metaphors, faded glories (see Murray, 
s. v. faded), there is no transference of epithets in the sense indicated above, 
but a predication of the participle to a variety of subjects likened to flowers. 

17. Ihe character of the attributive participle is to a certain extent 
shown by its place as to its head^word, a marked time^association 
mostly entailing postposition. Thus it is easy to see a distinct 
time*association in He took all the letters written to the post 
and its absence in He sent me a written circular not a printed one. 
Similarly the timesassociation is unmistakable in the participles 
found in: 

1 here is hut one being existing, who is necessarily indivisible and infinite. 
Lewes, Hist, of Phil., 77. 

It you cannot see the great gulf fixed between the two, I trust you will discover 
n some day. Kim, shy, Westw. Ho!, Ch. Ill, 23a. 

But as the placing of an attributive word after its headword 

often implies increased relative stress of the former, it may be 

assumed that also the latter principle may sometimes be held 

responsible for a departure from the rule that attributive words 

are normally placed before their head*words. See Ch. VIII, 

§ 84 ff. 

In the following groups of quotations it may be either or both of these 
principles that may be assigned as having determined, consciously or 
unconsciously, the different positions of the attributive participles. 


I he others had gone into the dressing*room adjoining I 1 Benson, Arundel 

Ch X1Y. 
ii. lo step aside into some adjoining room. Mac, Hist., II, 506.') 

On the day fallowing he entered my room. Watts I): NTON, A v 1 w i n , IX. 

ch. I, 270. 

On the day fallowing 1 entered upon my functions. Westm.Gaz., No. 5376, 2c. 
ii. On the following day appeared in the Gazette a proclamation dissolving that 

Parliament [etc.]. Mac, Hist., II. Ch.VIII, 99 

Early on the fallowing day. Ivsi)., Glac, I, Ch.VIII, 57. 

Note. It is remarkable that ensuing, a strict synonym oi following 
as used in the above quotations, is always placed before its head=\vord. 

Early on the ensuing morning. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XVI, 139. 

Within memory oi many people tiring, English was a feudal club without 

right of entry from without. Shani Leslie, The End of a Chapter) 

» h. IX, 164. 

No man living could do better. Cone. Oxf. Diet., s. v. living. 

The greatest living master of irony, ib. 

The first of living artists, ib. 

There are some litigations pending. Mrs. Warp, The Mating of Lydia I, 

Oh. IX, 181. 

\ series of inquiries followed: as to the term of the proposed agreement; 

the degree of freedom that would be granted him ; the date at which his 

duties would begin . . . passing on to ... the nature of the pending litigations. 

ib., I, Ch. IX. 183. 
i. The paity acquitted should be released from confinement without delay. 

\ portion oi the public both inside and outside the building hurried towards 

the acquitted man. lime-. 
i. Shagram snorted . . . and refused to move one yard in the direction indicated. 

Scott, Mon., Ch. Ill, b6, 
ii. The young man seated himself in the indicated seat at the bottom of the 

bed. Miss Brad., Lady Audley's Secret"). 
i. The party injured growled forth an oath or two oi indignation. Scott, Abbot, 

Oh. XIX, 198. 
ii. The injured party applied to the magistrate for redress, 
i. "The wery thing," Mr. Weller, who was a party interested, inasmuch as 

he ardently longed to see the sport. DlCK., Pickw., Oh. XIX, 163. 
ii. The evidence of interested persons is now received and its value estimated 

according to its worth. WlLLlAUS, Real Prop., 207'). 

Among the guests invited were several foreigners. 
:i. Mr. Asquith and the Home Secretary were among the sixty invited guests. 

II. Lord. News. No 3715, 6c. 
i. I here seemed to be nobodv among his numerous friends a ho ^otild give him 

the information required. 
ii. Saying this, Mr. Brownlow looked round the office as if in se.irJi of some 

person who would afford him the required information. I >!• ' 01 J wist, 

Ch. XI, 105. 

'i Mirray. 

; ) Birger P\im, Place of the Ad). Attrib.. % 29. 



In some cases, however, it is difficult to discern the application 
of either or any principle. Thus the position of the participle 
seems to be a matter of chance in: 

i. He was a gentleman born. Scott, Mon., Ch. XXVIII, 301. 

He's a liar born, and he'll die a liar. Dick., Great Expect., Ch. V, 46. 
ii. The Boer is a born conservative. Froude, Oceana, Ch. Ill, 48. 

She's a natural born nurse. Wells, Britling, I, Ch. Ill, §8, 94. 

In not a few cases also the requirements of rime, metre or rhythm 
seem to have been the determining factor. 

He that is strucken blind cannot forget | The precious treasure of his eyesight 

lost. Shak., Rom. and Jul., I, 1, 237. 

Now Romeo is beloved and loves again, ] Alike bewitched by the charm of 

looks, | But to his foe supposed he must complain, ib., II, Chor., 7. 

For what is wedlock forced but a hell, | An age of discord and continual strife? 

id., Henry VI, A, V, 5, 62. 

And the country proverb known, | That every man should take his own, | In 

your waking shall be shown, id. Mids., Ill, 2, 458. 

Birgkr Palm, in his admirable treatise The Place of the Adjective 
Attribute in English Prose, § 29, finds the test which is to decide 
whether a participle should be placed before or after its headword, not 
in the absence or presence of a distinct timesassociation, but in the answer 
to the question whether or not the action expressed by it is connected 
in our thoughts with a "definite acting person (operative force)". (The 
writer has acting person printed in thick type, operative force in italic 
type.) He compares the two following quotations: 

The young man seated himself in the indicated seat at the bottom of the bed. 

Miss Braddon, Lady Audley's Secret. 

This . . . reflects an intimacy with the material handled which is unmistakable. 

Now it seems difficult to see a difference between indicated and handled, 
so far as action by a definite acting person is concerned. In the above 
quotations the determining factor as to the position of the participle 
seems to be rather the stress of the latter relatively to its head*word. 
In the first the participle is subservient to its head-word, in the second 
the case is reversed. 
If the theory were right, the order would have been reversed in: 

They were content to pay the European trader the agreed=upon price. Westm. 
Gaz., No. 6483, 7a. 

a) It may here be observed that postposition of the participle is always 
impossible when its headword is modified by a possessive pronoun 
or a genitive. 

He heard his dear and his doted=>on Mary Anne say . . ., "Do you think 
I should care anything for that lame boy?" Lytton, Life of Lord Byron, 14a. 
He had been driven to ensconce the nest in a corner of his already too well- 
filled den. Hughes, Tom Brown, II, Ch. III. 239. 
His already wearied horse. Sweet, N. E. Gr., § 1788. 


b) Mk. Birger Palm's principle seems to be more useful in deciding 
whether the verbal or the adjectival character is the prevailing one 
m .\n attributive participle. This will be brought home to the reader 
it he will take the trouble of comparing the groups of sentences 
given in Ch. VIII, § 104. 

This is not the place to deal exhaustively with the various factors 
operating on the position of attributive participles. The subject has 
already been briefly discussed in Ch. VIII, treating of the place of 
attributive adnominal adjuncts in general, and has been incidentally 
touched on in Ch. XX and XXI, dealing respectively with participle* 
clauses and nominal clauses. The student interested in this part of 
English Grammar may Hnd ample discussion of the subject in Jespersen, 
Mod. Eng. Gram., Ch. XV, 15, 4ff, and Birger Palm, The Place 
of the Adjective Attribute in English Prose. 

18. In the following pages it is chiefly the attributive employment 
of the participles that will he dealt with, instances of their 
predicative use being only occasionally included. 

From the following discussions will be excluded the application of the 
participles as constituents of undeveloped clauses, which has already found 
detailed exposition in Ch. XX. 

The important use of the present participle as a constituent of the expanded 
(or progressive) form of verbs and of allied constructions with other copulas 
than to be, and with such words as to lie, to sit and to stand, has found ade* 
quate treatment in my treatise devoted to this interesting subject. 
The employment of the past participle to form the passive voice of verbs 
will be done full justice to in a separate chapter. 

Participles in which the timesassociation is distinctly perceptible 
may be called verbal participles, those in which it is highly 
weakened or entirely obliterated may be styled adjectival 

The Present Participle in Detail. 

19. The present participle of practically all verbs can be freely used 


The following quotations are roughly divided into two groups, according 
to the degree of purity in which the participle contained in them expresses 
the verbal principle. Only in the last group has the alphabetical order 
been observed. For illustration of adjectival present participles see also 22. 

i. How silvepsweet sound lovers tongues by night, Like softest music to atten- 
ding ears! Smak., Rom. and Jul., 11, 2, 166. 

M Charles Rivet, ... in an arresting study, entitled The Last of the Romanofs, 
sets forth many things that needed to he said. Punch, No. 4005, 240a. 


The Eclogues of Virgil and Odes of Horace are each inseparably allied in 
association with the sullen figure and monotonous recitation of some blubbering 
schoolboy. Scott, Old Mort., Ch. I, 12. 

They . . . profess no great shame in their fathers having served in the perse= 
cuting squadrons, ib., Ch. I, 22. 

At this affecting appeal, Goodwin got up a little domestic tragedy of her own. 
Dick., Pickw., Ch. XVIII, 157. 

Mr. Pott cast an imploring look at the innocent cause of the mischief, ib., 158. 
Mr. Tupman, with a trembling voice, read the letter, ib., 160. 
ii. May is a fresh and blooming month. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XVI, 137. 

One would imagine that all Europe, Asia and America had rushed in a body 

to see this compelling drama (sc. Salome by Oscar Wilde). Lord Alfred 

Douglas, Osc. Wilde and myself, Ch. XXVI, 301. 

They disturb the peace of mind and happiness of some confiding female. Dick., 

Pickw., Ch. XVIII, 160. 

You may be an unfortunate man, sir. or you may be a designing one. ib., 

Ch. XX, 174. 

Then the frown returned, redoubled in its forbidding scowl. Temple Thurston, 

The City of Beaut. Nons.. Ill, Ch. VI, 255. 

It's ... a base conspiracy between these two grasping- attorneys, ib., Ch. XVIII, 161. 

That was what the knowing ones call 'nuts' to Scrooge, id., Christm. 

Car. 3 , I, 8. 

As they say of a generous man, it is a pity he is not rich, we may say of 

Goldsmith, it is a pity he is not knowing. Dobson, Life of Goldsmith, 

Ch. XII, 197. 

It must have been of great service to you, in the course of your rambling life. 

Dick., Pickw,, Ch. XVI, 138. 

A retreating forehead and an equally retreating chin. Agn. and Eg. Castle, 

Diam. cut Paste, II, Ch. I, 109. 

There was a very snug little party, consisting of Marie Lobbs and her cousin 

Kate, and three or four romping, good s humoured, rosy ' cheeked girls. Dick., 

Pickw., Ch. XVII, 152. 

He came to be known for his seeming excentricities. Temple Thurston, The 

City of Beaut. Nons., Ill, Ch. VI, 256. 

Well, it's a pretty spot, . . . and one meets some fine strapping fellows about 

too, G. Eliot, Adam Bede, I, Ch. II, 11. 

He has written a taking song. Edna Ly ail, Hardy Norseman, Ch. XII, 98. 

"A modest, understanding sort of man", was Honor's mental verdict. Maud 

Diver, Captain Desmond, V.C., Ch. Ill, 25. 

He look'd and found them wanthing. Ten., Ger. and En., 954. 

20. Obs. I. In the case of objective verbs the object is often absorbed in the 
participle through being vague or indistinct, thus rendering them 
subjective. Thus in many of the above quotations: this affecting 
appeal, attending ears, this compelling drama, some confiding female, 
a designing man, grasping attorneys, a knowing man, a taking song, 
an understanding sort of man, etc. 
II. Sometimes the object is implied in the headword. 

What a prodigy in God's world is a professing atheist. Manning, Serm. 
Myst. Sin, I, 16 1 ). (= a man who professes atheism). 

') Murray, s. v. professing. 


The Church is the visible community Founded 

bv our lord for the propaganda of the Kingdom D. S. ( \a 

Mod. World. IV. 212 1 ). 

Intending passengers should hook early, as the company reserves to itse!: 
the right to cease issuing tickets at any time Notice, Giu\i Western 
Railway. < persons who intend to be passengers.) 

III. In the majority o( cases the head word or the attributive present 
participle is in the subjective relation to it. Thus in all the pre- 
ceding quotations. Occasionally the relation is objective 

Tell him, from his alt-obeying breath I hear The doom of Egypt Shak 
Ant. and Cleop., Ill 13, ~~ (= his breath, i. e. language, which 
all obey) 

My gentle Caius, worthy Marcius, and By deed' achieving honour newh 
named, — 1 What is it? — Coriolanus must I call thee? — id., Coriol .. 
II, 1, 161. (= honour achieved, i. e. won, by deed-..) 
Let his unrecalling crime | Have time to wail the abusing of his time 
id, Lucr., 995. (his crime which cannot be recalled, i.e. undone.) 
That hand shall burn in never quenching fire | That staggers thus mv 
person, id., Rich. II, 5, 5, 109. (=fire that will never be quenched.) 
Let me now conjure my kind, my condescending angel, to fix the dav 
when I may rescue her from undesen'ing persecution. Siier., Riv., Ill, 3 
(= persecution which is undeserved.) 

IV. When used predicatively also adjectival present participles raav 
govern a prepositional or non^prepositional object. The construction 
may be the same as that of the verb in the other applications, 
but not unfrequently is made to conform to that of synonymous 
adjectives. Thus we meet with (unbecoming and (un)becoming to. 

i. You've raised an artificial soul and spirit in him, ma'am, unbecoming 
a person of his condition. Dick., Ol. Twist, Ch. VII, 73. 
If .Mrs. N'ickleby took the apartments without the means of paying for 
them, it was very unbecoming a lady, id., Nich. Nick., Ch. Ill, lib. 

ii. He was most strict in religious observances, . . . much more . . . than 
was becoming to his rank and age. Motley, Rise, I, Ch. II, 76a 
Sartorius assumes a jocose, rallying air, unbecoming to him under ,in\ 
circumstances. Shaw., Widowers' Houses, II, 36. 
i. What canst thou expect, but that ... we deliver thee up to lingland. 
as undeserving our further protection. Scott, Mon„ Ch. XXVI, 2 

ii. It sometimes happens that a person departs this life, who is realK 
deserving of all the praises the stone-cutter carves over his bones 
Tiiack., Van. hair, I, Ch I. 4. 

Observe also the prepositional object of the following participles 

corresponding to transitive verbs. 

When at length they ran him to earth, he was charming to them, perfect 

in courtesy, and as kind as possible. Frank Harris, Contemp 

Portr., XVII, 300. 

The proposal is disturbing to preconceived ideas Westm (.a: 

No. 6329. lc. 

l ) Murray, ,. v professing. 


He had his own code of what was befitting to a gentleman. Galsworthy, 
Beyond, III, Ch. V, 271. 

The Allies are . . . utterly lacking in sound revolutionary principles. 
Westm. Gaz., No. 7649, lb. 

The following quotation affords a curious instances of a present 
participle forming a kind of compound with the reflexive pronoun 
that has the value of an adjective. 

They looked so gay and enjoying themselves. El. Giyn, Refl. of Ambr., 
I, Ch. IV, 52. 

21. Present participles sometimes take the negativing prefix un. 
Such formations are devoid of almost all verbal force, the 
negativing un not being used in connection with verbs. See 
also the quotations with unbecoming and undeserving in 20 
Obs. IV. 

His name must bring unpleasing recollections. Scott, Old Mort., Ch. Ill, 34. 

I must say it is very unfeeling of him to be running away from his poor little 

boy. Jane Austen, Pers., Ch. VII, 5 5. 

There is nothing very unforgiving in that, ib., Ch. XVIII, 177. 

You are a female, and unforgiving. Lytton, My Novel, I, VII, Ch. XI, 460. 

(She) clench'd her fingers till they bit the palm, | And shriek'd out 'Traitor' to 

the unhealing wall. Tin., Lane, and El., 608. 

People are so extremely unthinking about such a number of interesting things. 

El. Glyn, The Reason why, Ch. XII, 109. 

Missionaries have been as scurvily rewarded by our unknowing British Ministers 

of State as that other great body of public servants, the officers and men of the 

mercantile marine. Westm. Gaz., No. 7595, 15a. 

22. Many also admit of being modified by the same intensives as 
arc found with quality*expressing adjectives. Like the adjectival 
participles mentioned above (19), they are here arranged 

(This), being only light, was more alarming than a dozen ghosts. Dick., 

Christm. Car. 10 , Ill, 58. 

The movement on the western front during the last week is one of the most 

arresting in the war. The Nation, XX, 22, 721a. 

I'm a I'ery confiding soul by nature. Jean Webster, Da dd y = Lo ng-Legs , 42. 

Master |ervie is very demanding, ib., 234. 

The other (sc. grandfather) was an earl, who endowed him with the most doting 

mother in the world. ThaCK., Pend., I, Ch. V, 55. 

This is a very entertaining world. Jean Webster, Daddy»Long«Legs, 117. 

She is most forbidding. El. Giyn, The Reason why, Ch. XIV, 123. 

He was told so by a companion . . . one Tom Towers, a very leading genius. 

Trol., The Warden, Ch. X, 126. 

After every outbreak of ill^humour this extraordinary pair became more loving 

than before. Mac, Fred., (691a). 


But there arc some delicious janvsandwiches, which .ire more quenching than 

anything. Bradby. Dick., Ch XII. 128. 

( .rant that thev arc a little less saving, have thev not greater temptations to and 

excuses for improvidence. ESCOTT, England, Ch. XII, 2I V >. 

A too, too smiling large man . . . appearing with his wife, instantly deserts his 

wife and darts at Twemlow. Dick., Out Mat Friend, I, Ch. II, 11. 

They were all ready to pay attention to that deucedly taking niece of Rashleigh's. 

.Mks. Alexander, For his Sake, II, Ch. II, 29. 

Note. It is only in vulgar or colloquial style that adjectival present 
participles are at all placed in the terminational superlative. Instances of 
the terminational comparative have not come to hand. 

Was not Wilkes the . . . charmingest . . . man. Tiiack., Catherine, II 1 ). 

Dolly might take pattern by her blessed mother, who . . . was the mildest, 

amiablest, forgivingest'Spirited, long°sufferir\gest female as ever she could have 

believed. Dick., Barn. Rudge, Ch. XXII, 86. 

I have always found him the bitingest and tightest screw in London, id., Our 

Mut. Friend, III, Ch. XIII, 227. 

Mr. Deane, he considered, was the "knowingest" man of his acquaintance. 

G. Eliot, Mill, I, Ch. VIII. 64. 

He once had a sister himself — the rippingest in the world. Westm. Gaz. 

No. 6975. 8 b. 

23. Present participles are not, apparently, often converted, either 

wholly or partially, into nouns. A very common instance of 

partial conversion is afforded by living, which is used not onlv 

to denote a class of persons in a generalizing way, but also a 

single individual. 

i. The land of the living. Bible, Psalm XXVII, 13; LIU, 5. 
ii. Every night before I lie down to rest, I look at the pictures and bless both 
the living and the dead. Buchanan, That Winter Night, Ch. Ill, 2" 

A class of persons in a generalizing way is indicated by the 

present participle in 

The sleeping and the dead j Are but as pictures. Siiak., Macb., II, 2, 54 

24. Present participles are not seldom used as intensives of either 
adjectives or adverbs. In the majority of cases they then denote 
an action which is caused by the excess of the quality expressed 
by the adjective or adverb. 

I am afeard, I Being in night, all this is but a dream, | Too flatt erin I • be 

substantial. Siiak., Rom. and Jul., II, 1, 144. 

I would have thee gone; | And yet no further than a wanton's birJ. Who lets 
it hop a little from her hand, I Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves, , And 
with a silk thread plucks it back again. So loving'jealou* of his liberty ib.. 
II, 2. 181. 

') iMfRRAI 


Her heart was so aching-full of other things that all besides seemed like a dream. 
Mrs. Gask., Mary Barton, Ch. XXI, 224. 

It was a pouring ivet day. Marj. Bowen, I will maintain, Ch. IX, 103. 
She and I get on rattling well together. Shaw., Mrs. Warren's Profession, 
I, (174). 

Note «) In the case of passing and exceeding, which are now used only 
archaically as intensives, there is some vague notion of an object implied 
in the participle. Thus passing fair seems to be understood as so fair as 
to pass all others. Compare Jespersen, Mod. Eng. Gram., II, 15.28. 

Show me a mistress that is passing fair, | What doth her beauty serve, but as a 

note | Where I may read who pass'd that passing fair? Shak., Rom. and Jul., 

I, 1, 238-240. 

I have a daughter that I love passing well, id., Ha ml., II, 2, 437. 

A man he was to all the country dear, | And passing rich with forty pounds a 

year. Goldsmith, Des. Vil., 142. 

Mr. Bromley guessed him to be in an exceeding ilUhumour. Marj. Bowen, I will 

maintain, I, Ch. XI, 126. (exceeding modifies the adjectival part of the corns 

pound UUhumour.) 

P) The participle may be understood as either an adverb or an adjective in: 

Susannah's glittering brown hair was blown across her brow. Marj. Bowen, The 

Rake's Progress, I, Ch. I, 13. 

One of her fair hands lay among the glasses on the shining white cloth, ib., 9. 

y) Also running, as used in such a combination as three times running, 
has an adverbial function. 

He can speak seven hours running without fatigue. J. H. Newman, Loss and 
Gain, IV, VIII 1 ). 

25. Some present participles may assume the function of 

a) conjunctions, in this case often in connexion with that. 
Thus being, considering, notwithstanding, providing (^provided), 
saving, seeing. For illustration see Ch. XVII, §§ 46, 71, 77, 
91, 156. Thus also barring that as in: 

Barring that she seldom says a word about anything but the way the 
rheumatism has her tormented, her Irish is as good as you'd hear. Birmingham, 
The Advent, of Dr. Whitty, Ch. V, 122. 

b) prepositions. Thus bating, barring, according (to), con= 
cerning, considering, during, excepting (= excepted, except), 
failing, notwithstanding, pending, regarding, relating, saving, 

') Murray, s. v. running, 18. 


Thus also the phrases setting aside, leaving (or putting) on 

one side. For discussion and illustration sec < !h. \.\ 

7. 9. Compare also Onions, Advanced Eng. Synt, 

§ 61c, 4. 

26. Present participles often enter into combination with other words, 
forming compounds with them which are written in separation, 
with a hyphen or in combination, according to the closeness 
of the connexion. In many of these compounds the verbal 
principle is considerably or wholly obliterated. 

a) with nouns, 

1) in the objective relation. These compounds can be 
freely made of any suitable combination, but are unfrcquent 
in colloquial language: pie asure= seeking gentlemen, holiday^ 
making youths, a shop=keeping nation, the wage=earning 
classes, an epoch-making event. 

She will not stay the siege of loving terms, I Nor bide the encounter of 

assailling eyes, | Nor ope her lap to saint- seducing gold. Shak., Rom. 

and Jul.. I, 1, 216-8. 

Heart-piercing anguish struck the Graecian host. Pope, Iliad, XIV, 569 1 ). 

The heart-rending sensation of seeing his children starve. Malthus, 

Popul., II, 45')- 

There are stories going about him as a quilUdriving alien. G. Eliot, 

Mid., IV, Ch. XXXVIII, 280. 

Far as the portal-warding lion=\vhelp. Ten., En. Ard., 98. 

And on him fell, i Altho' a grave and staid God-fearing man, . . . 

doubt and gloom, ib., 112. 

The . . . painstaking manner in which they superintend . . . this depart 

ment. Law Times, XCIX. S442 1 ). 

The trombones seemed ... to drown everything else bv their ear-splittint, 

tones. Pall Mall Gaz.') 

Mary Eitton's lecherous, change-loving temperament ... is not only ignored. 

but is transmuted into tender loyalty and devotion. Frank Harris, The 

Women of Shak.. Ch. IV, 77. 

Note «■) Of a similar nature are compounds with words that have 
a substantival function. 

In those days there were pocketiboroughs, ... a br.iwn\ and rruny- 
breeding pauperism, and other departed evils. G. ELIOT, I el Holt. Intr 2 
1'he great majority are Dutch boriv and Dutch speaking. Times, 
No. 2003, 447 a. 

Shakespeare is more like Marcus Aurelius than Goethe or Cervantes but 
even Marcus Aurelius has not his all-pitying soul Fk\sk H\rri>. The 
Women of Shakespeare, Ch. II. 20. 

') Murray. 


P) Some compounds are practically equivalent to present parti* 
ciple -\- object and are, accordingly, purely verbal. 

It must have been Treherne who was tree=felling. J. M. Barrie, The 
Admir. Crighton, II, 58. (^felling trees.) 

2) in an adverbial relation. Although not, apparently, 

restricted to any particular adverbial relation, these corns 

pounds cannot be freely made and are met with only 

in literary language. 

Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits. Shak., Two Gent., I, 1, 2. 

Who knows but this night=walking old fellow of the Haunted House may 

be in the habit of haunting every visitor. Wash. Irv., Dolf Heyl. 

(Stof., Handl., I, 145). 

What housewife in Grimworth would not think shame to furnish forth 

her table with articles that were not home=cooked. G. Eliot, Broth. 

Jac, Ch. II, (199). 

Enoch's ocean spoil | In ocean-smelling osier. Ten., En. Ard., 94. 

And Enoch's comrade, careless of himself, | Fire^hollowing this in Indian 

fashion, fell, | Sun=stricken. ib., 565. 

Water-living creatures, which are always under water, wave the freely 

exposed gills by which they breathe in that water and extract the air 

dissolved in it. Wells, Outl. of Hist., I, IV, § 1, 16a. 

Plant now autumn=flowering bulbs. Westm. Gaz., No. 7265, 22a. 

The English people, by losing their land, had been transformed into 

wage*earners, rural or town-dwelling. Bookraann, No. 316, 125a. 

b) with adverbs. These compounds can be freely formed of 

any suitable combination, but, save for certain fixed formations, 

such as incoming, outgoing, outstanding, outlying, etc. they 

are not particularly frequent and are chiefly met with in the 

higher literary style. The adverb may be one of 

l) place. He thrice had pluck'd a life | From the dread sweep of the 
down^ streaming seas. Ten., En. Ard., 55. 

Until, the /bnvarcf^creeping tides | Began to foam, id., In Memoriam, 
CIII, 37. 

The outgoing tenant receives a certain sum from the incoming tenant. 
Fawcett, Pol. Econ., II, VII, 240 ')• 

An English girl would not have told him that story in the same frank 
upstanding way. Mrs. Ward, The Mating of Lydia, III, Ch. XVI, 328. 
The outstanding event of the month at sea was the destruction of the 
Breslau. Rev. of Rev., No. 338, 88a. 

This great trunk cable once laid, branches still more closely connecting 
outlying portions of our dominions, will easily and naturally follow. 
Times, 1899, 264b. 

The last two coaches of the incoming train were thrown off the rails. 
II. Lond. News, No. 3859, 450. 

') Murray. 


Their being put out of action now suggests far-reaching possibilities 
Rev. of Rev., No. 338, 88b. 

2) time Hedges, holds, and trees, bill and moorland, presented to the eye 
their ever-varying shades of deep rich green. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XIX, 162. 
i>he still took note that when the living smile | Died from his lips, across 
him came a cloud | Of melancholy severe, from which again, I . . . There- 
brake a suddembcaming tenderness | Of manners and of nature. Ten.. 
Lane, and EL; 326. 

The seldom-firowning King frown'd. ib., 710. 

Thus over Enoch's early-silvering head | The sunny and rainv season came 

and went | Year after year, id., En. Ard., 618. 

Before these lines appear in print, a long-standing injustice will have been 

finally removed. Rev. of Rev., No. 338, 90a. 

3) quality: Show a fair presence and put off these frowns, | An Unbeseeming 
semblance for a feast. Shak., Rom. and Jul., I, 5, 77. 

A man of an easy-going disposition. Gord. Holmes, Silvia Craven, 18. 
The s/oiv*moving figure of the chair=mender. Marj. Bowen, The Rake's 
Progress, Ch. IV, 41. 
The finely discriminating essay on Ben Jonson. Bookman, No. 316, 134b. 

4) degree: He is a convinced and thorough-going Imperialist. Times, 
1899, 296 c. 

c) with adjectives or adjectival participles. The parti? 
ciples used in these compounds are, naturally, only such as 
have been formed from verbs that do duty as faded copulas. 
See Ch. I, 5. Only compounds with looking are at all 
frequent : 

i. Holland, to speak in a familiar phrase, was what we call a good-looking 

man. Davies, Garrick, II, 92 l ). 

He was . . . well-looking, though in an effeminate style. Dick., Little 

Dorrit, Ch. VI, 30a. 

"Come in, d'ye hear!" growled this engaging- looking ruffian, id., Ol. 

Twist, Ch. XIII, 29a (John Dicks). 

He was a young-looking man. id., Great Expect. Ch. XXIII, 224. 

She is much too striking-looking. El. Glyn, The Reason Why, 

Ch. XIV, 123. 

But such a provoking-looking type of beauty as she was did not long 

leave the men of the party cold to her charms, ib., Ch. XXI. 1^3. 

She could not help owning to herself that he was extraordinarily distinguished- 
looking, ib.. Ch. XVI, 149. 
ii. He put on his cloak over his bright shining dress. Marj. Bovckn, The 

Rake's Progress, Ch. Ill, 39. (Bright and shining may also be und 

stood as two co-ordinate adjuncts.) 

Autumn . . . comes when we remember nothing but clear skies, green fields, 

and sweet-smelling flowers. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XVI, 137. 

Could it be that he was poor — at least, not well enough off to live at 

a good-sounding address? Temple Thurston, The City of Beautiful 

Nonsense, I, Ch. XVIII, 153 

') Murray. 


Note «■) The following is a formation of which it would be diffis 
cult to find a parallel in Present English: 

(He) won to his shameful lust | The will of my most seeming=virtuous 
queen. Shak., Haml., I, 5, 46. 

Also the participial compound in the following quotation is one 

of very rare occurrence: 

Then slowly climb the many=winding way. Byron. ChildeHar., I, XX. 

/J) When modified by as or so, a compound consisting of an ads 
jective and a present participle is sometimes split up into its corns 
ponent parts, the indefinite article being placed between them. For 
similar formations with respectively past participles and adjectives 
in ed see 40, Obs. I and 43, Obs. V. 

That, now to me, is as stern a looking rogue as ever I saw. Sher., School 
for Scand., IV, 1, (405). 

I think it is as honest a looking face as any in the room, ib., IV, 1. 
Monstrous handsome young man that — as fine a looking soldier as ever 
I saw. Thack., Pend., I, Ch. XI, 115. 

Another curious construction is that instanced by: 

What sort of looking man is Mr. Martin? Jane Austen, Emma, Ch. IV, 
28. T. 

27. Finally we call attention to some interesting periphrastic equi* 
valents of present participles: 
a) such as are made up of the stem of the verb and the prefix a, 

the worn^down proclitic form of the Old English preposition 

an (or on), Compare 6, Obs. VII. 

"In these compounds the word governed by a was originally a noun, 

e. g. life, sleep, work, float, but being often the verbal substantive of 

state or act, it has been in modern times erroneously taken as a verb, 

and used as a model for forming such adverbial phrases from any verb, 

as a-wash , a^bask, a=swim, a=flaunt, a=blow, a=dance, a=run, a=stare, a=gaze, 

a-howl, a-tremble, a-shake, a=jump. These are purely modern and ana* 

logical." Murray, s.v. a, prep., 11. Murray, calls these compounds 

adverbial: they are, however, mostly adnominal. Some of those men* 

tioned above would seem to be of only rare occurrence. 

Why should these words, | Writ by her hand, so set my heart adance? 

Bridges, Hum. of the Court, I, 707. 

Fathers and sons agaze at each other's haggardness. G. Eliot, Dan. Der., 

Ill, VII, Ch. L, 114. 

Mere the monotonous round of life was already astir. Maud Diver, Captain 

Desmond, V.C., Ch. I, 10. 

It (sc. Oxford) is a wholly congenial one (sc. environment) to Mrs. Ward . . . 

athrob with causes never desperately forlorn. Westm. Gaz., No. 7277, 16b. 

With the above compare: Accordingly they were soon a-foot and walking 

in the direction of the scene of action. Dick., Pickw., Ch. IV, 30. 


b) Such as are composed or a preposition and a noun, whether 
uniform or not with the stem of the verb, and preceded 
by either the definite or indefinite article or standing by 
itself. The word?groups may be passive in meaning, when 
the noun answers to a transitive verb. 

1) wordsgroups with the preposition at, always without 
either article, always active in meaning. They can be 
freely formed, but only a few are in current use. 

We may sec rabbits out at feed on the young grass, "ok Hun Hn 

(Westm. Ga:, No. 6011. 2 c). 

See if you can take it (sc. my handkerchief) out without my feeling it. 

as you saw them do, when we were at play this morning. Dick., 

01. Twist, Ch. IX, 94. 

He was at study in the cell, or at prayer in the Church. Waldo H. Dunn, 

Kng. Biogi., Ch. I, 17. (also in sfudy.) 

Old Gaffer Solomons who . . . had been for the last ten minutes at watch on 

his threshold, shook his head and said [etc.). Lytton, My Novel, I, III, 

Ch. XXV, 197. (more frequently on the watch.) 

Some one was also at watch by that casement, ib., I, VI, Ch, V, 

The oldest and youngest are at work with the strongest. Wordsworth, A 

Morn, in March. 

Note «) The noun may be accompanied by a modifier: 

His active genius was always at some repair or improvement. Lytton, M . 
Novel. I, II, Ch. X, 123. 

:■ i The construction with the gerund, as in the following quotation, 
appears to be very rare: 

When he is drunk asleep, or in his rage, | Or in the incestuous pleasure o( 
his bed; At gaming, swearing, or about some act | That has no relish of 
salvation in t. Siiak., Ilaml., Ill, 3, 91. 

2) wordsgroups with the preposition in, with the definite 

or indefinite article or, which is mostlv the case, without 
either article. See also 6, Obs. VII. 

i. Those who are in the fight need not professions and promises, but 

concrete and detinite acts before tliev can dream of laving down then 

arms. Westm. Ga:., No. 7577, 2a. 

It appears by his (sc. the moon's) small light of discretion, thai he 

is in the wane. Sii\k., Mids., V. 1, 254. <- Modern English on 

the wane.) 
ii. Figs, all whose limbs were in a quiver, and whose nostrils were 

breathing rage, put his bottl&holdex aside, and went in for the fourth 

time. Thack., Van. Fair, I, Ch. V, 45. 

The story . . . was sure to set the table in .1 K. Asm Kim,, 

OI. Goldsm., Ch. I, 4 (—on a roar.) 

I am all in a tremble. Dn k . Cop., Ch I, 4a (also oj a tremble.) 


iii. France's greater claims are not in dispute. Manch. Guard., V, 
No. 24, 482 c. 

The Opposition are surprised to find the Government in flight before 
they brought up their guns. Westm. Gaz., No. 8333, 4a. 
The reaper once more stoops to his work: the cart-horses have moved 
on and all are again in motion. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XVI, 137. 
The most prominent object was a long table with a table=cloth spread 
on it, as if a feast had been in preparation, when the house and the 
clock all stopped together, id., Great Expect., Ch. XI, 102. 
If certain writers would regard journalism and authorship in a more 
business4ike light than they usually do, they would soon find themselves 
in receipt of larger incomes. Westm. Gaz., No. 8121, 26b. 
The comedy . . . had been in rehearsal for a week. Frankf. Moore, 
The Jessamy Bride, Ch. VIII, 66. 

He is always in study, and must not be disturbed. Lytton, My 
Novel, I, VII, Ch. VIII, 453. (also at study.) 

No one who has not experienced life on two dresssshirts — one in 
wear, the other in the wash — can quite understand what this will 
mean to me. Punch, No. 3811, 83a. 

3) workgroups with the preposition of, always with the 

indefinite article, chiefly met with in colloquial language. 

"Oh, my dear, Caractacus is jealous," says your aunt all of a flutter. 
Agn. and Eg. Castle, Diam. cut Paste, II, Ch. II, 133. (also in a flutter.) 
I was all of a tremble: it was as if I had been a coat pulled by the 
two tails, like. G. Eliot, Sil. Mam., I, Ch. VI. 42. (also in a tremble.) 

4) workgroups with the preposition on, occasionally upon, 
with the definite article or without either article. Those 
with the definite article, always active in meaning, are 
very frequent, especially in colloquial language; those 
without either article are often passive in meaning, i. e. 
when the noun answers to a transitive verb. 

i. The water was in the condition described by those learned in house* 
wifery as 'just on the boil'. (?), The Harvest of Sin, 31. 
It was singing now merrily ... a soft effervescent melody, something 
like that of a kettle on the boil. John Ruskin, The King of the 
Golden River, Ch. II. 

During the eighteenth century the influence of the Church of Rome 
was constantly on the decline. Mac, Popes, (562b). 
The malady is now pronounced to be on the decline. Graphic, 
1891, 542. 

Her brute of a husband was away on the drink and gamble. Rid. 
Hag., Jess, Ch. I, 6. 

The importance of the House of Commons was constantly on the 
increase. Mac, Bos well's Life of Johns., (179 b). 
Bee=keeping is declining, but silk=culture is greatly on the increase 
Harmsworth Encycl. s. v. Servia. (Note the varied practice.) 
It is undoubtedly a fact that nervous disorders are on the increase 
in all countries. Westm. Gaz., No. 5231, 10b. 


"Of course you forgot him, said Osborne still on the laugh. Thack., 
Van. Pair, 1. Ch. VI, l 

Helen was on the look*oat for this expected guest, [hack., Pend., 
I. Ch. VII, 79. 

Next morning we were upon the march. BUCHANAN, Thai Winter 
Night, Ch. XIII, 102. 
On the march to Mafeking. Graph. 

Mountain«artillery on the march. II. Lond. News, No. 3832, 447. 
Everybody seemed to be busy, humming and on the move. 1it\<k.. 
Pend.. I, Ch. XXXI, 340. 

He was on the prowl for what he could pick up. Walt. Besant, Bell 
of St. Pauls II, 15. 

Where be . . . your Hashes of merriment, that were wont to set the table- 
on a roar? Shak., Haml., V, I, 210. (also in a roar.) 
He was famous there in his student days for setting the table on a roar, 
R.Ashe King, Ol- Goldsmith, Introd., 21. 
But fortune was already on the turn. Mac, Hist. 
Fine art is at a low ebb. But the tide is on the turn. R. H. Patterson, 
Es. Hist. Art., 329. 

The strength of England was on the wane. McCarthy, Short Hist 
Ch. XIII, 176. (formerly also in the wane.) 

In every direction we find British influence on the wane. Sat. Rev. 
(Westm. Gar.. No. 5394. 16c). 

The serpent was on the watch. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XXXIV, 309. 
(Compare: at watch.) 

Mrs. Mountain is constantly on the whimper when George's name is 
mentioned. Thack., Virg., Ch. XII, 118. 
ii.* I learned to hold my hands this way, when I was upon drill for the 
militia. Goldsmith, She Stoops, II, (178). 

The Gaekwai of Baroda's wonderful Pearl Carpet, now on exhibition at 
the Victoria and Albert Museum. Graph., No. 2257, 319. 
To-night, therefore, sherry was on offer. E. F. Benson, Mrs Ames 
Ch. II, 42. 
** Six hundred and fifty thousand railway workmen were on strike. Rev. 
of Rev.. CXCI. 500b. 

In a company that was nearly always on tour in those years, he could 
n it have learned all that he did learn about the drama. TlMES, Lit. 
Sup. 990. 9a. 

The plan of the poem (sc. The Traveller) was conceived, and some ol 
it was written, while Goldsmith was on tramp through Europe. R 
King, Ol. Goldsmith, Ch. XIV, 158. 

Note: Sometimes the noun is preceded by a possessive pronoun 

Scopolamine (sc. a kind of drug) is still on its triah At hen.. No. I 

5) workgroups with the preposition under, always without 
either article and always passive in meaning. 

The Workers' Homes at Colon, with Storm-Sewer under construction. 
Graph., No. 2257, 327. 

His thoughts . . . were occupied with other matters than the topics under 
discussion. Dick., Barn. Rudge, Ch. I, 3a 


When the Military Service Act was under discussion, it was recognized 
that if the people knew that it must lead to industrial conscription, they 
would not acquiesce in military conscription. The Nation, Vol. XX, 
No. 14, 490b. 

c) Such as are composed of a prepositional phrase containing 
a noun and a gerund, noun of action, or infinitive. 

1) in the act of -\- gerund, varying with in {the) act to -\- 
infinitive, now more or less archaic and unusual. The 
latter word^group, however, has an inchoative character, 
i. e. in (the) act to is equivalent to about to. 

i. Solomon Gills is in the act of seeing what time it is by the unimpeachable 
chronometer. Dick., Domb., Ch. IV, 27. 

When her mother was in the act of brushing out the reluctant black 
crop, Maggie suddenly rushed from under her hands. G. Eliot, Mill 
on the Floss, I, Ch. IV, 20. 

He had heard the sound of the approaching vehicle when he was 
in the act of undressing. Athen., No. 4481, 245c. 

ii.' : She was in the act to turn away, as a tear dropped on his forehead. 
Kingsley, West w. Ho!, Ch. Ill, 21a. 
** (Atreides then) his massy lance prepares | In act to throw. Popf, II., 
Ill, 349. (Thus frequently in Pope.) 

Sprung from a race whose rising blood, | When stirr'd beyond its 
calmer mood, | And trodden hard upon, is like j The rattlesnake's, 
in act to strike, \ What marvel if this wornsout trunk \ Beneath its 
woes a moment sunk? Byron, Mazeppa, XIII. 
(She) moved away, and left me, statue=like, | In act ic render thanks. 
Ten., Gard. Daught., 160. 

He gazed so long | That both his eyes were dazzled as he stood, j 
This way and that dividing the swift mind, | In act to throw, id., 
Morte d'Arthur, 61. 
He was in act to fire. Buchanan, That Winter Night, Ch. Ill, 35. 

2) in course of -\- noun of action. The meaning is always 

Not even . . . the great Oxford English Dictionary, now in course of 

publication, can be implicitly trusted in matters of pronunciation. Rippmann, 

Sounds of Spok. Eng., 4, footnote. 

The only other monument the church contained, that to the brothers 

Van Evertzen, . . . was still in course of erection. Marj. Boven, I will 

maintain, I, Ch. VII, 82. 

The last item of the local programme is in course of performance. Flor. 

Barclay, The Rosary, Ch. VI. 52. 

3) in process of followed by an active or passive gerund 

or by a noun of action, which may be either active or 

passive in meaning. 

i.* The Cape Colony is in process of revising its law affecting the use 
of the motor vehicle. II. Lond. News, No. 3866, 760a. 


Sir Edward Carson is in process of dunging the whole conception 
of Ulster which has prevailed in England hitherto. W'estm. Gaz., 
No. 6341, lb. 

; ' Conscription, he explained, was in the process of being abolished, and 
it was always intended that it should pass away. W'estm. Cia;., 
No. SI 44, 4b. (The use of the article seems to be exceptional.) 
ii.° The enemy's rearguards . . . ate in process of orderly withdrawal to 
a deliberately prepared new alignment. Eng. Rev , No. 101, 377. 
•* A cowslip=ball was in process of manufacture. Dor. Ger., The 
Eternal Woman, Ch. XXVI. 

Mr. Asquith . . . announced that a Coalition Government was in 
process of formation. The New Age, No. 1185, 73 b. 

d) such as are composed of busy (or employed, engaged) -f Hi 
-f- gerund. 

The German was busy in washing his hands. Lytton, Night and 

Morn., 129. 

Mrs. Boxer was employed in trimming a cap. ib., 291. 

Two (sc. young gentlemen) . . . were engaged in solving mathematical 

problems. Dick., Domb., Ch. XII, 103. 

The Past Participle in Detail. 

28. The past participle of practically all transitive verbs can be 
freely used attributively. 

As in the case of the present participle, the following quotations are roughly 
arranged in two groups representing a decreasing scale of the verbal principle 
in the participles contained in them. In those of the last group, in which 
alone the alphabetical arrangement has been observed, almost every trace 
of the verbal principle may be said to have disappeared. 

i. Prodigious birth of love it is to me, | That I must love a loathed enemy. 
Shak., Rom. and Jul., I, 5, 144. 

Edward stepped forward with his drawn sword in his hand. Scoir, Mon.. 
Ch. XXVI. 283. 

Slot = the track of a hurt deer. Webst., Diet. 

He bent forward, with parted mouth and straining ear, to catch their con 
sation. Lytion, Night and Morn., 258. 

Lady Spratt had taken a discharged servant of Mrs. Leslie's without applying 
for the character, id., Mv Novel, II, VIII, Ch. V, 40. 

"Yes," said Leonard, between his set teeth, ib., I, VII, Ch XIX, 489. 

Not caring to go too near the door, until the appointed time, Mr. Pickwick 

crouched into an angle of the wall. Dkk., Tickw., Ch. XVI, 1 : 

Mrs. Pott smiled sweetly on the disturbed Pickwickian, ib., Ch. XVIII, 156. 

A plucked man is a dismal being in a University. Tii.m k . Pend., I, 

Ch. XXI, 220. 

The spread supper=table. Hakdt, Tess, V, Ch XXXVI, 306. 

"Like her audacity! " so Netta had understood his muttered comment. Mrs Ward, 

The Mating of Lydia, Prol., Ch. II, 36. 



The Budget deficit . . . has been threatening for some years to become chronic, 
in spite of large and unexpected excesses of actual over estimated revenue, 
Westm. Gaz., No. 6240, 2c. 
ii. But in the beaten way of friendship, what make you at Elsinore? Shak., 
Haml., II, 2, 279. 

The avenue was a chosen place for secret meetings and stolen interviews. 
Miss Brad., Lady Audley's Secret, I, Ch. I, 5. 

Happily there were others of quite another stamp; notably Colonel St. John, 
C. B., a genuine soldier and a cultivated man. Maud Diver, Desmond's 
Daughter, II, Ch. I, 41. 

Glaucus soon found himself amidst a group of merry and dissipated friends. 
Lytton, Pomp., I, Ch. VII, 29b. 

The meat was done on one side only. Webst., Diet. 

The handsome lady regarded me with a fixed look. Dick., Cop., Ch. XLI, 398a. 
Burns was an inspired peasant. Eng. Rev., No. Ill, 127. 
There was Jem Rodney, a known poacher, and otherwise disreputable. G. Eliot, 
Sil. Mam., I, Ch. V, 37. (may also be placed under 29, Obs. III.) 
He was . . . selected by the Commander=in=Chief for the command of the 
regiment because of his known influence over the Sepoys. Times. 
The practised eye of Clive could perceive that both the men and the horses 
were more powerful than those of the Carnatic. Mac, Clive, (518b). 
Expert (n) = An expert, skilful, or practised person. Webst., Diet. 
I could see no sign of any White Boys, real or pretended. Emily Lawless, 
A Colonel of the Empire, Ch. X. 

Our own was a stolen match. Golds., Goodsnat. Man, V. 
She's engaged in . . . organizing shop assistants and sweated work=girls. Bern. 
Shavt, Getting Married, (227). 

An excellent start has been made in raising wages in certain sweated trades. 
Westm. Gaz., No. 6423, lb. 

Observe that some past participles, such as distraught, forlorn, which 
are used only as adjectives, have lost all their other verbal forms. 
The distraught father had appealed to the social worker. Eng. Rev., No. 63, 384. 
This casts the glamour of a forlorn and lost cause on the personality of Dona 
Rita and her lovers. Westm. Gaz., No. 8149, 13b. 

29. Obs. I. In the majority of cases the attributive past participle, so far as 
it is of a distinctly verbal nature, is of a momentaneous or ter* 
minative character (or aspect). Thus in most of the preceding 
quotations. But it may also have a durative character, i.e. it may 
be capable of being expanded into an adnominal clause containing 
a passive present participle. Compare Kern, Part. Praet, §9. 

Heaven had placed her there for the safety and protection of the per-- 

secuted stranger. Scott, Mon., Ch. XXVIII, 301. {= the stranger who 

was being persecuted.) 

He caused one of his attendants to mount his own led horse, id., Ivans 

hoe, Ch. II, 22. (— his own horse which was being led.) 

Ellen and I will seek apart, | The refuge of some forest cell, | There, like 

the hunted quarry, dwell, | Till on the mountain and the moor | The stern 

pursuit be pass'd and o'er, id., Lady, II, XXIX, 24. (= the quarry 

which is being hunted.) 


Two fed horses, which in the Held always Josely followed his person, 
were struck dead by cannon shots. Mac, Hist., VII, Ch. XX. 220. 

II. The relation between the participle and the noun modified is not 
seldom one for which there is no parallel in the relation between 
any of the other forms of the verb and its object. Thus in some 
combinations with : 

born. He never was so delighted in his born days. Richardson, Pa- 

mel.i, III, 383. ') 

You shall rue it all your bom days. Disraeli, Viv. Grey, VI, 1, 2c 

confirmed. The Englishman is a confirmed grumbler at the weather. 

Westm. Ga:.. No. ts240. 2a. (= a man whose grumbling at the weather 

has become confirmed, i. e. firmly established.) 

A confirmed invalid. Murray, s. v. confirmed, 2. 

destined. The destined combatants returned no answer to this grec 
Scott, Fair Maid, Ch. XXXIV, 358. (the men who were destined to 
be combatants.) 

A destined errant knight I come, \ Announced by prophet sooth and old. 
id., Lady, I, XXIY. 

past. Both are past = masters in the old diplomacy. Westm. Ga;., 
No. 7649, 1 b. (Pasbmaster = one who has filled, or passed, the office 
of 'master' in a guild, civic company, freemasons' lodge, club, and, by 
extension, the apprenticeship to any business.) 

threatened. This had the effect of averting the threatened misfortune. 

Scott, Old Mort,, Ch. Ill, 36. (= the misfortune with or by which he 

was threatened.) 

At last he rose up from his bed, | That he might ponder how he best 

might keep \ The threatened danger from so dear a head. Morris, The 

Earthly Par., The Son of Croesus, IV. 

The threatened railway strike. Times, N'o. 1807, 662 d. 

Compare the following combinations with the normal relation : 

Threatened men live long. Prov. (= men that are threatened.) 

He took his post near Louvain, on the road between two threati 

cities. Mac, Him. VII, Ch. XX. 213. 

III. Sometimes the participle has been formed from a verb of declaririL: 
the word -group, participle - noun, corresponding to a nomi= 
native infinitive or to an accusative -f~ infinitive. 

i. The whole world is wondering at our stupidity in being thus misled by 
a man who is an admitted rebel. Eng. Rev., No. 111. 166. < — a man 
who is admitted to be a rebel.) 

The hearing of the charge against the alleged conspirator-* at Pretoria has 
been postponed. Times. (— the men who are alleged to be conspire' 
The Santa Casa is the reputed house of the Virgin Mary at Nazareth, 
Cobiia.h Brewer, Readers Handbook, s. v. Lorctto. ( s = the house 
\ihich is reputed to be the house etc.) 



ii. The former (sc. young man) [is] an avowed admirer of your ladyship. 
Sher., School for Scand., I, 4, (364). (= a man ivho has avowed 
himself to be an admirer of your ladyship.) 

He instantly arrested the confessed culprit. Times, 1898, 552a. (= the 
man who had confessed himself to be the culprit, or the culprit who had 

Mr. Cavaignac has done his duty ... in instantly arresting the confessed 

culprit. Times. 

Nor can I pretend to guess under what wicked delusion it is that you 

kiss a declared lover. Scott, Fair Maid, Ch. XXV, 261. (= a man 

who has declared himself to be a lover.) 

Dryden generally exhibits himself in the light, if not of a professed 

misogynist, yet of one who delighted to gird at marriage. Shaw, Hist. 

Eng. Lit., Ch. XII, 229. (= a man who has professed himself to be 

a misogynist. Compare: I have professed me thy friend. Shak., Oth., 

I, 3, 342. Compare also: a professing misogynist = a man who is 
professing to be a misogynist.) 

IV. A genitive or possessive pronoun modifying the heacUword of an 
attributive past participle may in various ways be related to 
the verbal notion implied in the latter. Thus especially in com= 
binations with: 

appointed. And out he went into the world, and toiled | In his own 
appointed way. John Hay, The Enchanted Shirt, XIX. (= the way 
which he had appointed for himself.) 

He had taunted the Tories with their appointed destiny of "stewing in 
Parnellite juice". Times. (= the destiny which was appointed for them.) 
Before long matters may develop in such a manner that a British Am= 
bassador may again be in his appointed place in Petrograd. Rev. of 
Rev., No. 338, 94a. (== the place to which he has been appointed.) 
decided. Mrs. Sowerberry was his decided enemy. Dick., Ol. Twist, 
Ch. VI, 65. (— a person who had decided to be his enemy.) 
destined. To restore her to her destined Husband. Steele, Tatler, 
No. 58. (= the husband that was destined for her.) 

However much he yearned to make complete | The tale of diamonds for 
his destined boon. Ten., Lane, and El., 91. (= the thing which he 
destined to be the boon to be offered to the Queen.) 
devoted. They agreed with his devoted sister . . . as to the prudence of 
keeping him out of England for a time. Mered., Lord Ormont, 
Ch. II, 29. (= his sister who had devoted herself to him, i. e. his sister 
who was zealously attached to him.) 

limited. I'll make so bold to call, | For 'tis my limited service. Shak., 

Macb., II, 3, 55. (= the service to which I have been limited, i. e. 


meditated. Wringing convulsively the hand of his meditated father-in-law, 

. . . the ingenuous young suitor faltered forth [etc.]. Lytton, My Novel, 

II, XII, Ch. XI, 814. (= the man whom he meditated making his father- 

presumed. Mr. Cross has voted twice with the Government for every 
time that he has voted with his presumed friends. Westra. Gaz., 
No. 5071, 1 c. (= the members who were presumed to be his friends.) 


threatened. He did not see his threatened foe. Mouos, The Earthly 

Par., The Man born to be King, 43a. C— the foe with or by whom 

he was threatened.) 

And that weak wailing of the child, | His threatened, dreaded enemy, ib. 

V. The past participle not unfrequently seems to have the value of 
a present participle, or, at least, to be exchangeable for a present 
participle, without much change of meaning. For illustration from 
Shakespeare see also Abbot, Shak., Gram.', § 294. 

And, gentle Puck, take this frans/ormed scalp From off the head of this 
Athenian swain. Shak , Mids., IV, 1, 67. (= transforming scalp, or. 
perhaps, scalp with which he has been transformed.) 

Thus ornament is but the guiled shore I To a most dangerous sea. id., 
Merch. of Yen., Ill, 2, 97. (= guiling, or, perhaps, full of guile.) 
"Away, harlot! muttered Clodius between his ground teeth. Lytton, 
Pomp., V, Ch.YI, 146b. (Compare grinding teeth = grinders = molar teeth. ) 
Do we not while away moments of inanity or fatigued waiting by repeating 
some trivial movement or sound? G. Eliot, Sil. Mam, I, Ch. II, 15. 
(= fatiguing, or, perhaps, full of fatigue.) 

With hung head and tottering steps she instinctively chose the shortest 
cut to that home. Mrs. Gask., Mary Barton, Ch. XX, 21b. 

Thus also in the following quotations from Shakespeare, in which 
the participle appears to indicate an inclination, a habit or an 
inherent capability to do whatever is expressed by the verb. 

It is twice blest; | It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. Merch 

of Yen., IV, 1, 186. (According to the Clar. Press editors = endowed 

with double blessing. Compare: In its injurious effects on both parent 

and child a bad system is twice cursed, a good system is twice blessed 

— it blesses him that trains and him that's trained. Spencer, Educ, 

Ch. Ill, 92 b.) 

Then, in despite of brooded watchful day, | I would into thy bosom pour 

my words. King John, III, 3, 52. 

I was never curst; I have no gift at all in shrewishness. Mids., Ill, 

2, 500. (= given to cursing.) 

Here she comes, curst and sad. ib., Ill, 2, 459. 

Yet time serves wherein you may . . . Revenge the jeering and disdain'd 

contempt Of this proud king. Henry I V, A, 1, 3, 185. 

Converselv the transferring of the present participle from its proper 
subject may result in its assuming the value of a past participle 

I have seen the day j That I have worn a visor, and could tell | A 
whispering tale in a fair lady's ear. Shak., Rom. and Jul., I, S 
An old gentleman lying in a tiny room . . . his hands crossed upon his 
breast in unbrcakmg sit Tirrston, City of Beaut Nons., 

III. Ch. XVI, 556. 

VI. Some adjectival past participles formed from transitive verbs have 
the value of an active perfect present participle with pregnant 
meaning, so that the verb from which they have been formed 
may also be considered intransitive through having absorbed its 
object. Thus: 


drunk(en) = having drunk (too much and, consequently, in? 

toxicated), as in the man is drunk(en), a drunken man. Compare 

the Latin homo potus. 

learned = having learned (much), as in a learned man. 

mistaken = having mistaken (something), as in the mistaken 

multitude, he is mistaken. 

read = having read (much), as in to be read in the classics. 

Thus also drawn = having drawn (the sword), now only archaic, 

as in: 

Why are you drawn? Shak., Temp., II, I, 308. 

VII. Sometimes, especially in Shakespeare, we find past participles with 
the value of adjectives in able or ible. Compare Abbot, Shak. 
Gram. 8 , §375; Franz, Shak. Gram. 2 , §662. 

Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels. Rich. Ill, I, 4, 27. (— invaluable.) 

All unavoided is the doom of destiny, ib., IV, 4, 217. (= inevitable.) 

With all imagined speed. Merch. of Ven., Ill, 4, 52. (= imaginable.) 

You have displaced the mirth, broke the good meeting, | With most 

admired disorder. Shak., Macb., Ill, 4, 110. (— admirable in the now 

obsolete sense of to be wondered at, as in : But, howsoever, strange and 

admirable, id., Mids., V, I, 27.) 

Full many a gem of purest ray serene, | The dark unfathom'd caves of 

ocean bear. Gray, Elegy, XIV. 

Mary was an easily satisfied little person. Eng. Rev., No., 61, 89. 

Conversely adjectives in able or ible are sometimes equivalent to 
present participles. 

There was a fire half* way up the chimney and roaring and crackling 
with a sound that of itself would have warmed the heart of any reasonable 
man. This was comfortable, but this was not all. Dick., Pickw., 
Ch. XIV, 120. 
This was an uncomjortable coincidence, id., Cop., Ch. V, 35a. 

30. Comparatively unusual is the attributive use of the past parti* 
ciple of verbs governing a prepositional object. In this case 
the preposition is regularly retained. Such a word^group is, 
indeed, frequent enough in postposition to its headsword, but 
in this case it is felt as (a constituent of) an undeveloped clause, 
i. e. the participle is fully apprehended as a verbal form. Some 
combinations are, however, of general currency; some appear 
especially when furnished with the negativing prefix un. See 
also 33, and compare Jespersen, Mod. Eng. Gram., II, 14.341; and 
Deutschbein, System der neuenglischen Syntax, §43, 3, 
Anm. 2. 

Then there were the much=talked=oj perils of the Tappaan=zee. Wash. Irv., Dolf 
Heyl. OStof., Handl., I, 124). 


He heard his dear and his dbred*on Mary Anne say . . "Do you think 1 could 
care anything for that lame boy?" LrrroN, Life of Lord Byron, 14a 

Was he not . . . the most brilliant and most SOUghbafter young man in all 

England? El. Glyn, Halcyone, Ch. XI, 97. 

They svere content to pay the European trader the agreedlipotl price. W'estm. 

G.i:. No. 6483, 7a. 

The longed-for just and democratic peace. Rev. of Rev , No. 338, 93a. 

31. As to intransitive subjective verbs the attributive use of the 
past participle is confined to such as express a change of place 
or state. Even with this restriction the application has onlv a 
limited currency, some participles of this description hardly 
admitting of being employed attributively. Thus we could not 
viv *a walked passenger, * a laughed girl, * a barked dog, * a slept 
child, these verbs implying no change of place or state. 
Nor do we meet with such combinations as *a died man (com* 
pare however, a deceased man), *the started train, : "a come guest, 
etc., although here there is a distinct reference to a change of 
some description or another. Also in some of the following 
quotations, marked with an asterisk, the attributive use of the 
participle has a somewhat incongruous effect. The fact is that 
the attributive use of these participles is mostly attended by a 
distinct fading of the verbal principle. Total loss of this principle- 
may even render possible the attributive use of participles which 
do not imply any change of place or state. Thus in a travelled 
man (= a man experienced in travel), a travelled air (= an air 
wearing signs of travel). Thus also in such compounds as a welU 
behaved man, a plain-spoken man, which express a permanent 
habit or cast of mind. See 39, b, 2, and compare Wilmanns, 
Deutsche Gram., Ill, I, § 59; Deutschbein, System der 
neuengl. Sy nt, § 59. 

The student mav here be reminded of the fact that verbs which 
express a change of place or state can be easilv told bv their 
being conjugated in Dutch and German by, respectively, zijn 
and sein. 

It may finally be observed that attributive past participles formed 
from intransitive verbs arc regularly placed before their heads 
words, except in such combinations as Mr. Jones, deceased, retired, 
etc., in which the participle mav also be understood as an 
undeveloped clause. 
Here follow some quotations illustrating the attributive use of: 


assembled. He was shortly afterwards elected, by the unanimous voice of the 
assembled company, into the tap=room chair. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XVI, 139. 

deceased. They were contented to wish success to the son of a deceased 

presbyterian leader. Scott, Old Mort., Ch. Ill, 30. 

He lived in chambers which had once belonged to his deceased partner. Dick., 

Christm. Car., I. 

departed. Their talk was often about the departed mother. Thack., Pend., II, 

Ch. XXIX, 321. 

"escaped. Nobody thought for a moment that he was the escaped convict about 

whom such a stir had been made. Titbits. 

Escaped prisoners. Morning Leader. 

faded. The fields with faded flowers did seem to mourne. Spenser, Colin 

Clout, 27. 

fallen. The fallen and unfortunate King of France. Dick., Two Cities, III, 

Ch. I, 276. 

foregone. The result was a foregone conclusion. Philips, Mrs. Bouverie, 37. 

mouldered. A moulder'd church. Ten., En. Ard., 4. 

retired. He was a retired servant, with a large family come to him in his old 

age. Thack., Sam. Titm., Ch. VII, 82. 

returned. What would he say to the returned convict? Dick., Pickw.. 

Ch. VI, 52. 

shrunken. He had rather a shrunken appearance. G- Eliot, Mill, II, Ch. IV, 154. 

''strayed. pin=fold. sheep=foId, but also a 'pound' for strayed cattle. Note to 

Milt., Comus, 7 (Clar. Press). 

sunk. The sunk corners of her mouth. Hardy, Tess, V, Ch. XXXVI, 314. 

sunken. He met her gaze with those yearning sunken eyes. Mrs. Ward, Rob. 

Elsm., II, 266. 

* travelled. The phenomenon of travelled or perched blocks is also a common 

one in all glacier countries. Wallace, I si. Life, VII, 106. l ) 

Like many a travelled man, (he) was not master of the English language. G. Eliot, 

Brother Jacob, Ch. Ill, (543). 

32. Obs. I. Sometimes the attributive past participle corresponds to a reflexive 
verb, or to an intransitive verb that goes back to a reflexive 
verb. Compare Wilmanns, Deutsche Gram., Ill, I, § 59, 2. 

Where is this perjured dancing girl of yours? Anstey, A Fallen Idol, 
Prol., 14. (from to perjure oneself.) 

Acting on information volunteered by a surrendered Boer, Captain Valen» 
tine left Pretoria this evening for the purpose of capturing a large herd 
of cattle. Times, (from to surrender < to surrender oneself.) 

II. Only the participles of such intransitives as express a passing into 
another state appear to be capable of being used predicatively. 
In this application they are practically pure adjectives. 

Sir Henry came pottering in — oh, so shrunken in appearance. Sarah 
Grand, Our Man. Nature., 31. 

') Murray. 


His checks were sunken .inJ his eyes unnnturallv large l)ia, I h 
Ch. XXIX, 237a. 

The predicative use of participles formed from other intransitives, 
as in the following quotation, appears to be rare. Compare, 
however, 29 Obs. VI. 

His valet-butler found him already bathed, and ready for a cup of tea 
at half past seven. Wills, The Soul of a Bishop, 89. 

33. Derivatives with the negativing prefix un are freely formed 
from most adjectival past participles corresponding to objective 
verbs. Such as correspond to subjective verbs seem to be rare. 
Compare also Wilmanns, Deutsche Gram., Ill, 1, § 59, 4. 

i.* The house was several centuries old, with a long unbroken family historv 

Sarah Grand, Our Manifold Nat., 31. 

And thy sharp lightning in unpractised hands | Scorches and burns our once 

serene domain. Keats, Hyp., 1, 62. 

White as the driven unsullied snow. Annie Besant. Autobiography. 

Religion! what treasure untold \ Resides in that heavenly word! Covtper, 

Alex. Selk., IV. 

Small dealers as they were, and grimy and unwashen, they had their regular 

avocations. John Oxenham, A Simple Beguiler. 

Where was he to date from? Not from home, or the unheard-of arrival of 

letters there would arouse suspicion, ib. 

One Saturday afternoon, at dusk, great consternation was occasioned in the 

Castle by the unlooked-for announcement of Mr. Dombey as a visitor. Dick., 

Domb., Ch. XI, 94. 
ii. My heart untravell'd fondly turns to thee. Goldsm., Trav., 8. 

34. Obs. I. Sometimes we find these derivatives with privative un followed 
by the preposition by (in Older English and, archaically, in Present 
English of) denoting a relation of agency, which shows that some- 
verbal force may cling to them. It may, however, be observed that 
the word=group past participle 4- by (or of) -\- name of agency 
may sometimes also be understood as a kind of unit that has the 
value of an adjective denoting a state, to which un is affixed ,t- 
a negativing prefix, 
i. The board was uncovered by a cloth . Ivanhoe, Ch. Ill, 24 

(= bar. ) 

The arrival of the Force was quite unexpected by the public. 1 i m e 

No. 1972, La. 

She thought herself unloved by him. RlCH. BaGOT., The Just and 

the Unjust, II. Ch. II. 43 i [".)■ 

Thou merry, laughing sprite' ' With spirits feather light, ' Untouched 

by sorrow and unsoiled by sin. Thom. HoOD, Parental Ode. 

A secluded region, untrodden as vet by tourist or landscape painter 

Hakdy, Tess, I. Ch. II. 10. 
ii. And to this end (he) Had made the pretext of a hindering wound, 

That he might joust unknown of all. Ten:. Lane, and EL, 581 


II. Also when no prepositional phrase with by (or of) follows, the 
verbal force may stand forth quite distinctly in such derivatives. 
She had sat the whole evening through in the same chair without 
occupation, not speaking, and unspoken to. Trol., The Warden , Ch.VI, 80. 

Thus even when used attributively, as in 

If, after all, the unhoped-for son should be born, the money would have 

been thrown away. G. Eliot, Dan. Der., I, II, Ch. XV, 236. 

35. The ordinary adjective intensives may also be found before 
adjectival past participles. Thus: 

most. "Goldsmith," says Thackeray, "is the most loved of all authors." R. Asm 
King, Ol. Goldsmith, Ch. XIII, 155. 

Home Rule and the Insurance Act . . . remain the most talkcd-of subjects in the 
contest. Westm. Gaz., No. 6577, 2 b. 

much. "Tommy" looks far fitter . . . than the much vaunted soldiers cf the 

War Lord. Graph., No. 2339, 439c. 

rather. The tenth anniversary of the Tariff Reform movement .. . was kept in 

a rather chastened mood by the stalwarts of the movement. Westm. Gaz., 

No. 6228, lc. 

so. Our study is better than ever this year — faces the South with two huge 

windows — and oh! so furnished. Jean Webster, Daddy = LongsLegs, 164. 

too. To-day he was too roused and angry to risk the chance of meeting . . 

M. de Witt. Marj. Bow i n, I will maintain, II, Ch. VII, 189. 

very. It may well be supposed that men who wrote thus to each other, were 

not very guarded in what they said of each other. Mac, Fred., (691b). 

He had a large, sallow, ugly face, very sunken eyes, and a gigantic head. Dick., 

Pickw., Ch. XVI, 140. 

This is a ray interrupted letter. Jean Webster, Daddy = Long-Legs, 42. 

Note: Like adjectival present participles (22 Note), adjectival past parti; 
ciples are but rarely found in the terminational superlative. Instances of 
the terminational comparative appear to be non-existent. 

Good fortune then! | To make me blest or cursed'st among men. Shak., Merch. 

of Ven., II, 1, 47. 

Ay, be it the forlornst bodily tabernacle in which immortal soul ever dwelt. 

Miss Mulock, Noble Life, Ch. XII. 1 ) 

The unfragrant and insanitary waif of its (sc. that of the Thames) rottenest refuse, 

the incomparable Rogue Riderhood, must always hold a chosen place among the 

choicest of our selectest acquaintance. Swinburne, Ch. Dickens, 61. 

1 here never were such times for the working classes, and to recommend thrift 

to them as the blessedcst of virtues. The New Statesman, No. 96, 433a. 

1 he staidest opinions have modified or seek correction. Eng. Rev., No. 103, 544a. 

We couldn't see a thing, and then I got loster and loster. Hugh Waipole, 

Jeremy, Ch. X, 4, 261. 

36. Some adjectival past participles, when used predicatively, may 
take a prepositional object like ordinary adjectives. 

') Murray. 


We tound Ned panting and bathed in perspiration. Sam, 1 d Chap. 

The nation unbroken to such servitude began to struggle Betcdy M\< , Hist. 

The book is crammed with matter, but never burJcm-J with it. Bookn 

No, 316, 123b. 

^ icero oever spoke better. Once more, and you are confirmed in assurance 

ever. Goldsmith. She Stoops, II, (1 - 

Somerset was very little known to the public. Mac, Hist., II, Ch. VIII 

MarveM'd Sir David of the Mount; I Then learn'd in story, 'gan recount I Such 

chance had happ'd of old. Scott, Maim., IV, XXII. 

Sharp practitioners learned in the wiles of insolvency and banktuptcy. 1 I 

Little Dorrit, Ch. VI, 30b. 

I did not think you had been read in these matters., Love for Love, 

III, 4, (255). 

He is deeply read in the writers, ancient and modern, who have treated on the 

subject. Wash. Irv., Sketch-Bk., No. 21. 194. 

Note a) Observe that known to varies with known by, in which the 
verbal principle reasserts itself. 

Two women whom he loved and injured are known by every reader of books 
so familiarly that if we had seen them, or if they had been relatives of our own, 
we scarcely could have known them better. Thack., Eng. Hum., I, 41. 

p) Sometimes an adverb apparently has the value of a prepositional object. 
I found him garrulously given. Ten., Talking Oak., VI. (== given to garrulity). 

37. When totally or partially converted into a noun, the past parti; 
ciple, to all appearance, never loses its verbal character entirely. 

i. Some day she would . . . come back — to those beloveds who had given her 

up - so tenderly. Mrs. Ward, Delia Blanchf lower, I, Ch. VII, 189. 

The Prison Chaplain entered the condemned' s cell for the last time. Westm. 

Ga:„ No. 4983, 9a. 
ii.* It was at once our duty and privilege ... to raise the fallen, seek f/ii 

and restore the outcast. Mrs. Wood, The Channings, Ch. I, 3. 

The self'taught are keen and quick observers. Lttton, My Novel, I, VII. 

Ch. VII, 449. 

We justified our conquest to ourselves by taking away the character of the 

conquered. Froude, Oceana, Ch. Ill, 43. 
•* I file into the old pew first, like a guarded captive brought to a condemned 

service. Dick., Cop., Ch. IV. 2t>b. 

To the Allied cause the situation is more than hopeful. Eng. Rev., No. 74, 193 
*•* Ourselves will hear The accuser and the accused freely speak. ShaK., Kich. 

II. I, I, 17. 

Would God's anointed, accountable to God alone, pay homage to the 

clamorous multitude? Mac, Bacon, (380a). 

38. Some past participles may assume the function of preposition^. 

Thus in: 

It's gone half past : Mm r, For his Sake, I, Ch. Ill, 50. 

He stayed till past two o'clock. 

Tis now struct twelve. Shak., Haml., I, 1. 7. 


Now she knows she's to be married, turned Michaelmas. G. Eliot, Sil. Mam. 
II, Ch. XVII, 132. 

Note. Provided seems to be the only past participle that may assume 
the function of a conjunction. It is often found connected with that 
For illustration see Ch. XVII, 71. Observe also that it is sometimes either- 
preceded or followed by always, in like manner as the Dutch mits is 
often connected with altijd. 

i. Now my idea is that, if Englishmen advance the money for railway construction 
and other work, a certain proportion of the English money thus lent should 
be spent in buying English goods — always provided, of course, that we can 
supply them as cheap and good as any of our competitors. Rev. of Rev., 
No. 190, 369b. 

ii. He therefore informed them that he should not take it ill of them if they 
made their peace with the dynasty, provided always that they were prepared 
to rise in insurrection as soon as he should call upon them to do so. Mac, 
Hist., VII, Ch. XVIII, 1. 

This question is likely to drag on for many months, provided always that 
Mr. Redmond can be induced to believe that Mr. Asquith is not playing with 
him. Westm. Gaz., No. 5243, 16c. 

39. Past participles enter into combination with various other parts 

of speech, forming compounds with them in which the verbal 

idea appears in various degrees of prominence. Partly depend;: 

ing on this and partly also in harmony with the supposed 

closeness of the connexion, these compounds are written in 

separation, with a hyphen or in combination. 

a) with nouns, in some adverbial relation mostly one of agency. 

Instances with intransitive verbs seem to be rare. Although 

these compounds with participles of transitive verbs can be 

freely formed of any suitable combination, they are not 

common in colloquial language. 

i.* At length Maria Lobbs, being more strenuously urged by the love=worn 
little man, turned away her head, and whispered her cousin to say . . . 
that she felt much honoured by Mr. Pipkin's addresses. Dick., Pickw., 
Ch. XVII, 152. 

But Enid fear'd his eyes, | Moist as they were, wine^heated from the feast. 
Ten., Ger. and En., 551. 

A luckier or a bolder fisherman | . . . did not breathe | For leagues along 
that breaker=beaten coast, id., En. Ard., 51. 

The level rays poured dazzling between the tree=trunks; turning the dust= 
ridden air into a mist of dusky gold. E. F. Benson, Arundel, Ch. I, 7. 
The bank sloped away to a stream crossed by a moss=covered bridge. 
Mart. Bow in, The Rake's Progress, Ch. II, 17. 

I believe he's spent his first few years in some God=forsaken hole. Maud 
Diver, Desmond's Daughter, II, Ch. II, 51. 

The soil of an imagination like that of Keats is magically sensitive to 
chancL>=blown seed. Bookman, No. 316, 122b. 


the whole of this . . . Kcs Publica . . . has been seized by . a peer* 
ridden or capitalist-controlled Parliament, ib.. No. 316, 124b. 
The railways are State-owned. West m. G a ;., No. h435, 2 a. 

Compare with the above compounds the combination illustrated 
by the following quotation: 

The carpet and curtains were faded by the sun. Lytton, My Novel, 
I, V, Ch. XXV, 288. (= sun-faded). 

** Helen Pendennis was a country 'bred woman. Thack., Pend., I, Ch. VII, 81 
The master of that ship | Enoch had served in ... | Came . . . | Reporting 
of his vessel China-bound. Ten., En. Ard., 122. 

Her pore (= poor) mother, not being a Scripture-read woman, made a 
mistake at his christening. Tii. Hardy, Far from the Madding Crowd, 
Ch. X. 91. 

Tongue-tied timidity is the best proof of sincerity. Frank Harris, The 
Women of Shak., Ch. Ill, 54. 

ii. No busy steps the grass=groivn footway tread. Goldsmith, Des.Vil., 127. 
He extended both hands to the home-come warrior. W.J. Locke, The 
Rough Road, Ch. XIX, 238. 

There was not a shade of difference between . . . the learned Scribes and 
the world-travelled warriors. Chesterton (II. Lond. News, No. 3373, 48c). 

Note. Thus we may also apprehend compounds with self, such as 
self-made, which admits of being analysed into made by (one's) self. 

Helen says you are self-taught. Lytton, My Novel, I, VII, Ch.XIX, 489. 
Regularly, every morning after he had finished his breakfast, she performed 
her self-appointed task. Jack London, The Call of the Wild, Ch. IV, 123. 

b) with adverbs, the participle corresponding to 

1) a transitive verb. The adverb may be one of 

«) quality. Such compounds can almost be formed ad libitum. See 

Murray, s. v. ill, 7. Note especially ill-bred, well-bred, ill-advised, 

ill-disposed, well-disposed. 

An ill-advised and unfortunate insurrection. Wordsworth. 

Mark many rude-carved crosses by the path. Byron, Childe Har., 

I, XXI. 

You are an honest man, and well- affected to our family. Lytton, 

Eugene Aram, Ch. IX, 60. 

The influence of the season seems to extend itself to the very waggon, 

whose slow motion across the well-reaped field is perceptible only to 

the eye. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XVI, 137. 

There were a few well-disposed natives who saw them and were sorry 

for them. McCarthy, Short Hist., Ch. XIII, 187. 

Nor can I ever be persuaded that the so-called hardening is necessary 

in a world which . . . requires softening down rather than stiffening 

up. Eng. Rev., No. 113, 343. 

Tennyson pieces exquisitely observed detail into a delicately wrought 

picture. Bookman, No. 316, 122b. 
p) degree. He saw the Jew with his half-closed eyes. Dick., Ol. 

Twist, Ch. IX, 89. 


The street of labour before the war was a street of starvation — of 
badly=fed women and underfed children. The New Statesman 
No. 250, 372 a. 

y) place. He came up with outstretched hand. Thack., Pend. I 

Ch. XXX, 321. 

He exhorted them to show their inbred superiority as Dorians. 

Grote, Greece, V, 237. 

Jane arrested her with on odd, shy motion like that of an out-flung 

claw. Agn. and Eg. Castle, Diam. cut Paste, II, Ch. I, 117. 
t>) time. Local tales and superstitions thrive best in these sheltered 

long=settled retreats. Wash. Irv., SketchsBk., XXXII, 365. 

This is, perhaps the reason why we seldom hear of ghosts except in 

our long'-established Dutch communities, ib. 

The before-mentioned hamper. Dick., Pickw., Ch. IV, 33. 

It is not our purpose to describe this ofUtravelled tour. Thack., 

Pend., II, Ch. XIX, 199. 

The "Ode to Psyche" was not . . . the last composed, but the first 

of the five famous Odes. Bookman, No. 316, 122b. 

But if it was the earliest composed [etc.] ib. 

She (sc. Japan) watches Imperialism trampling the newborn Russian 

State. Eng. Rev., No. 113, 373. 

For further instances of participial compounds with neiv see 
especially Jespersen, Mod. Eng. Gram., II, 15.31. Observe also 
that in these compounds new varies with newly. Thus Jespersen, 

Some bright spirit newly born. Shelley. 
The newly married pair. Thack., Pend. 

Constructions like that illustrated by the following quotations 
seem to be rare: 

The master told me to light a fire in the manyweeks^deserted parlour. 
Em. Bronte, Wuth. Heights, Ch. XIII, 69b. 

She that ever kept | The one-day-seen Sir Lancelot in her heart. Ten., 
Lane, and El., 742. 

2) an intransitive verb. Instances are not very common, 
being practically confined to certain fixed combinations. 
Of particular interest are the numerous compounds with 
behaved and spoken. This latter participle has the value 
of the adjective speeched, formed from the noun speech; 
but compounds with speeched are, apparently, non-existent. 
See also 31, and compare Jespersen, Mod. Eng. Gram., 
II, 15.36. 

A very prettybehaved gentleman. Sher., Riv., 5, 1, (275). 

Hussy = an ilhbehaved women or girl. Webst. Diet. 

David was very welhbehaved to his mother. G. Eliot, Broth. Jac, 

Ch. I, (473). 


Lord Roberts declares be has the best behaved army in the world, rimes 

I don't consider myself at .ill a badlybehaved woman. Bern Siiaw , 
Overruled (Eng. Rev.. No. 54, In 'I 

Compare. Some rich peasants in a village in Brunswick used to meet at 
the village inn about the time well conducted people entered the church. 
Nun., Handl. I. 58. 
ii. The Captain . . was at least a civiUspokeu gentleman. Lytton, My 
Novel, I, III, Ch. X, 161. 

.Mrs. Hazeldean, though an excellent woman, was rather a bluff, 
plaimspoken one. ib , I, 111, Ch. XIII, 171. 

lies a nice, fair spoken, pretty young man. Thai EC., Tend., I, Ch.V,64 
A free-spoken young man. Flor. Marryat, A Bankrupt Heart, 11,73. 

Thus also outspoken, as in: 

She had always been remarkably crank and outspoken. Edna Ltaix, 
We 1 wo. I, 43. 
iii. Again the long^/allen column sought the skies. Goidsm , Trav., 136. 
In honour of this toast .Mr. W'eller imbibed, at a draught, at least 
two thirds of the neu'/y=arnVec/ pint. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XXIII, 20t>. 
"I must have gone about the world with closed eyes," was the remark 
of a welhtravelled man after he had completed only half the Course. 
Eng. Rev., No. Ill, Advert 

Note a) In some compounds the adverb stands after the 

Those years of too early and too heavy toil . . . made her (sc. Octavia 
Hill) prematurely groivn-up. Athen., No. 44b3, ; 1 5 b. 

fi) Sometimes the compound contains two adverbs 

Shelley's "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty . . is more long*draum*out. 
Bookman, No. 316, 123a. 

c) with adjectives, 

1) such as denote a place of origin. 

A foreigmbom resident of a country. Webst., Diet. s. v. alien. 

The great majoritv are Dutch born and Dutch speaking, Times. 
No 2003. 447 a. 

I he percentage among the "foreign*born" is higher than among the native; 
born. Wells, The Future in America, 1 si 

In some combinations of a similar nature the origin-denoting word 
is rather adverbial than adjectival. Thus in: 

She was a stout, round, Dutch 'built vessel. Wash. Irv.. The Storm' 

Ship (Stof., Handl . I, 84). 

The Opposition propose a Canadian built and Canadian-manned Navy. 

Westm. Car.. No. 6101, lb. 

Americanstnade boots, foreign-manufactured goods. Tina 

2) such as denote the result of the action implied in the 

) Jfspfrsfs, Mod. Eng. Cram., II, 15.32. 



Thou sure and firm*set earth, I Hear not my steps, which way they walk. 

Siiak., Macb., II, 1, 56. 

Clean-shaven was lie as a priest. Longf., Tales of a Ways. Inn. Prel. 

He purchased a sufficiency of ready=dressed ham. Dick., Ol. Twist, 

Ch. VIII, 82. 

Breakfast . . was ready=laid in tempting display, id., Pickw., Ch. V, 39. 

His small bundle of clothes was ready=packed. G. Eliot, Brother Jacob, 

Ch. I, (487). 

40. Obs. I. When modified by such adverbs of degree as as, so, the component 

parts of the compound may be separated by the indefinite article. 
See especially A. Schmidt, Shak. Lex., I. For similar formations 
with respectively present participles and adjectives in ed see 26, c, 
Note/i; and 43, Obs. V. 

There's no man is so vain | That would refuse so fair an offer d chain. 

Siiak., Com. of Er., Ill, 2, 186. 

I hold myself as well a born man as thyself. Scott, Abbot, Ch. XV, 140. 

II. Occasionally we find a group of two participles connected by and 
used attributively. Some of these compounds are quite common. 
lie would certainly have struck a stranger as a born and bred gentleman. 
Em. BrontE, Wuth. Heights, Ch. XIV, 75 b. 

Their speculative faculties seem only to be able to run into cuhand=dried 
channels. El. Gi.yn, The Reason why, Ch. XII, 109. 
The rather stout lady was no other than the quondam relict and sole 
executrix of the dead-and^^one Mr. Clarke. Dick, Pickw., Ch. XXVII, 240. 
(Dead has the value of an adjectival participle.) 

The Participles compared with allied Forms. 

41. Attributive present participles are distinguished from attributive 
gerunds by being differently stressed: word*groups with the 
former having double stress (often called level or even stress), 
those with the latter having strong stress on the gerund and 
weaksstress on the heads word. Thus falling sickness (= illness 
in which the patient falls) has double stress, while trainings 
college has strong stress on training and weak stress on college. 
In some cases the nature of the verbal in ing in these com* 
pounds is uncertain, causing the stressing of the word^group 
to be variable. Thus, for example, reforming days, retiring 
pension, working man. For further discussion and illustration 
see Ch. XXIII, § 13, Obs. VII; and Gerund, 15. Compare 
also Matzner, Eng. Gram. 12 , Ill, 73. 

42. Attributive past participles should not be confounded with 
adjectives derived from nouns by means of the suffix ed, such 
as aged, crooked, gifted, skilled, talented, etc. 


Thus also stringed, as in stringed instruments, which is sometimes, crro- 
neously, given .is a variant or the participle Strang. Hut bended, as in 

on his bended knees, is a real participle; in Middle English it was 

superseded by bent. (See MURRAY, s.v. bended.) 

In these formations the suffix is distinctly used with the sense of possessing. 

provided with, characterized by (whatever is expressed by the preceding 

word or word group). This meaning is considerably weakened in certain 

words similarly formed, such as bigoted, crabbed, dogged. See Murray, 

- \ =ed, suffix, 2. 

Some (onus in ed admit of a twofold interpretation; i.e. they may be 

apprehended as adjectives derived from nouns by means of the suffix ed, 

or as past participles o( verbs which are derived from nouns. 

1 found this a limited source of information. Scott. Old Mort., Ch. I, 21. 
There were great, round, potbellied baskets of chestnuts, shaped like the waist 
coats of jolly old gentlemen. Dick, Christm. Car., Ill, 60. (best understood 
as formed from the noun shape). 
From earliest times theWaganda have been a clothed people. Graph., No. 2271, 962 b. 

Sometimes there is an adjective with the prefix be, similarly furnished 
with the adjectival suffix ed, mostly adding to the notion expressed by 
the above adjectives that of surrounding, covering or bedaubing. See 
Murray, s.v. prefix be, 6. Also these forms can in many cases be regarded 
as participles, i. e. when there is a verb with the prefix be used in all the 
forms of an ordinary verb. When, however, there are no such variations, 
the form in ed is best considered as an adjective. Murray, accordingly, 
somewhat misses the point in observing that "some are used only in the 
passive voice". 

In the high-road, he saw a man he knew, a member of his club, topehatted and 
bejrocked. Temple Thurston, The City of Beautiful Nonsense, Ch. XI, 79. 
lie \\.-<- in a state of be) memory. W.J. Locke, The Rough Road, Ch. 

XVII, 204. 

Hncouraged by certain b&monocled war=correspondents, they picture us ail grouped 
round Salonic.i. Westm. Gaz., No. 8179, 1 1 a. 

43. Obs. I Adjectives formed from nouns by means oi the suffix ed are very 
»n, may indeed be freely formed of anv noun, although only 
a limited number have found general currency. Thus a chimneyed 
house, a stoved room, a hatted man and a host o\ other such for; 
■nations would hardly be tolerated, and some writers have found 
occasion to exclaim in rather strung !crms against the free coil 
of such adjectives, which poets in particular are apt to indulge in. 
Thus J mmenting on Cray's poetry writes, "There has 

oi late arisen a practice of giving to adjectives derived from sub 
stantives. the termination ^uch as the cultured plain, 

. . but 1 was ee, in the lines or a scholar like Gray, 

the honeyed spru- 

Collriih.k delivers himself in Table --Talk, 171 as follows, "I re 
to see that vile ai ip>us vocable talented . . I he formation 



of a participle passive from a noun is a licence that nothing but 
a very peculiar felicity can excuse". 

Dean Alfokd appears to have been positively shocked by the 
frequent occurrence of the adjectives in ed. In his The Queen's 
English §§ 2 1 8 — 2 1 c > he registers a vehement diatribe against the 
adjectives talented and gifted, words which every educated English* 
man, himself perhaps included, uses every day in literary com; 
positions. He writes a propos of talented and gifted, "We seem 
rather unfortunate in our designations for men of ability. For 
another term by which we describe them, talented, is about as bad 
as possible. What is it? It looks like a participle. From what 
verb? Fancy such a verb as to talent! Coleridge sometimes cries 
out against this newspaper word and says, imagine other participles 
formed by this analogy, and men being said to be pennied, shillinged, 
or pounded. He perhaps forgot that, by an equal abuse, men are 
said to he moneyed men, or, as we sometimes see it spelt (as if 
the word itself were not bad enough without making it worse by 
false analogy) monied". 

"Another formation of this kind, gifted, is at present very much 
in vogue. Every man whose parts are to be praised, is a gifted 
author, speaker or preacher. Nay sometimes a very odd transfer 
is made, and the pen with which the author writes is said to be 
gifted, instead of himself". 

Among the following instances some may, in a manner, be regarded, 
as nonce*formations. For illustration from Shakespeare see Abbot, 
Shak. Gram. 3 , § 294. 

He had not the self=comniand necessary for addressing his brother with 

a sufficiently honeyed accent. G. Eliot, Brother Jacob, Ch. I, (488). 

Many a night from yonder ivied casement, ere I went to rest, j Did I 

look on great Orion sloping slowly to the west. Ten, Lock. Hall, 7. 

Dixon creeping past the door of the sick=room on his stockinged feet, could 

hear the moaning. Mrs. Ward, The Mating of Lydia, I, Ch. IV, 93. 

(. .in storied urn or animated bust | Hack to its mansion call the fleeting 

breath ? Gray, Elegy. 41. 

It (sc. Windsor Castle) is a place full of storied and poetical associations. 

Wash. Irv., Sketch; Bk., X, 82. 

The verandahed bungalow. Galsworthy, Beyond, III, Ch. VI, 275. 

Buck houses with walled gardens behind them. G. Eliot, Felix Holt, 

I, Ch. II!, 64. 

Within a w'mdow'd niche of that high hall j Sate Brunswick's fated chieftain. 

Byron, Childe liar., Ill, XXIII. 

Adjectives of this kind may, of course, also be formed from com? 
pounds, e. g. greut^coated from great=coat. 

Abort an hour afterwards (Henry) came booted and great'eoated into the 
room. Jam Austen, North. Abbey, Ch. XXVI, 202. 

II. Like ordinary adjectives the forms in ed may take the privative 
suffix v.n ; e. g. : unskilled. 


She has that (sc. chastity), is clad in complete steel. And like .1 
quiver J nvmph, with arrows keen | May trace huge forests, and unharbour J 
beaths. MlLTON, Comus, 423. 

I bey descended the Mights of uncarpeted wooden stairs and passed outside 
his door. Temple Thurston, The City of Beautiful Nonsense. 

XVI, 122 
Do vou think I am absolutely ungifted that way.-' ib., I, Ch. Will, ls4. 

111. Also such compounds .is clearheaded, good-natured, kind-hearted. 
strong-minded, etc., in which an adjective and a noun are joined 
together by the adjectival formative ed, are verv numerous and 
frequent, and can be made of practically any suitable combination. 

This is the even-handed dealing of the world. Dick., Christm. Car. ,: . II, si. 
A creepered, plains/rented little brick house. Galsworthy, Beyond. 
Ch. X. 227. 

The Russian Democracy in its single-handed struggle with Prussian Junker- 
Rev. of Rev., No. 338, 93a. 

Also party=coloured, in England more usually spelled parti-coloured 
or particoloured, belongs here, party being an adjective adapted 
from the French parti, Latin partitus = divided. 
Similarly such combinations as half-hearted, double-edged may be 
included among compounds of this description. 

I always say a half-breakfasted man is no good. Galsworthy, The 

Country House, I, Ch. II, 20. 

Winton was triple-proofed against betrayal of feeling, id., Beyond, I, 

Ch. I, 10. 

These compounds should be distinguished from those in which 
an adjective in ed formed from a noun, is modified by an adverb, 
e. g. welUintentioned, welUmannered. 

ant, Count," screamed Mrs. Leo Hunter to a well-whiskered individual 
in a foreign uniform, who was passing by. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XV, 133. 

When there is a verb uniform with a noun, it is difficult to tell 
whether in these compounds the suffix ed is a verbal (participial) or 
an adjectival formative. Thus, for example, in the case of beautifully; 
coloured. well-conducted, well-shaped. 

Shakespeare . was himself, not only handsome and well-shaped, but 
gentle and courteous, with most ingratiating manners. Fkank H\kkix 
The Women of Shak., Ch. I. 3. 

Fiorsen -tared fixedly at that perfectly-shaped face < ■ : * ortht, Beyond, 
III. Ch. IX, 301. 

The uncertain nature of the suffix ed is also responsible tor the 
fact that the language sometimes has two kinds ol compounds, 
one with an adverb, one with an adjective. Thus we meet with 
well-sized and good-sized (the ordinarv word). 
Thus also we find absent-minded, high-minded, noble-minded, strong- 
minded, etc. by the side of cruelly-minded, )ustlv-minded, cheerfully 
minded. etc 


For comment on and illustration of these and many other similar 
formations see especially J espersen, Mod. Eng. Gram., II, 15.34 ff. 
There is no difficulty in distinguishing the above compounds in 
which one of the component members is a noun or may be under* 
stood as a noun, from such as are made up of an adverb -J- past 
participle, e. g. ill-bred, UUadvised, etc., discussed higher up (39, b). 
It may, however, be observed that in the compounds long-lived 
and short-lived made up of a noun live (for life) -(- ed, the form 
lived is often, erroneously, apprehended as a past participle and, 
consequently, mispronounced as the past participle of the verb 
to live. See Murray, s.v. long-lived and short-lived. 

IV. On the plan of such compounds as blue-eyed, left-handed, we also 
find such as have for their first member 

a) a noun, e. g. : eagle-eyed, lantern-jawed, leather-aproned, etc. 
Instances are quite common, any suitable combination, indeed, 
being capable of developing such a compound. 

[These] facts and circumstances . . are beheld by every one, but our 
mole-eyed contemporary. Dick., Pickw., Ch. XVIII, 156. 
There were great, round, pot-bellied baskets of chestnuts, id., Christm. 
Car. 1 ", Ill, 62. 

He was dressed in a plum-coloured velvet. Marj. Bowen, The Rake's 
Progress, Ch. IV, 43. 

b) a definite or indefinite numeral. As to compounds with the 
latter, instances are at all common only with many; e.g.: a four- 
footed animal, a many-coloured carpet. 

i. It was late in the afternoon when the four friends and their four-footed 
companion turned into the lane leading to Manor Farm. Dick., 
Pickw., Ch. V, 43. 

Miss Arrowpoint and Herr Klesmer played a four-handed piece on 
two pianos. G. Eliot, Dan. Der., I, I. Ch. V, 65. 
They (sc. women) do not . . know how terribly two-edged is their 
gift of loveliness. Meredith, Ord. of Rich. Fev., Ch. XXVII, 212. 

ii. few. Men and women and children, who, guided by hope or by 
hearsay, | Sought for their kith and their kin among the few-acred 
farmers | On the Acadian coast. Longfellow, Kvangeline, II, 2, 9. 
many. Entering then, | Right o'er a mount of newlysfallen stones, 
The dusky-rafter'd, many-cobwebb'd hall, i He found an ancient dame 
in dim brocade. Ten., Mar. of Ger., 562. 

Tulips and petunias, marigolds and flameTlower, morning glory and 
bougainvillaea made a jubilance of many-coloured carpet. E.F.Benson, 
Arundel, Ch. I, l ). (Thus also multi-coloured, as in: It (sc. his love) 
burned with a steady and unwinking flame, without rockets and 
multi-coloured stars, ib., Ch. I, 7.) 

The sun of late June is warm upon the many-charioted streets. 
Gissing, A Life's Morning, Ch. XX, 272. 

We have seen many-sized rooms since then. Temple Thurston, The 
World ofWonderful Reality, Dedic. (—largely varying as to size.) 


Note especially the many*headed beast or monster (after IIok. 
Ep. 1,1,75: Belu a mul torn m o capitum) = the populace- 

1 "hen dure came .i turnip, then .i potato, and then an egg: with .i 
few other little tokens of the playful disposition of the many headed. 
Dick . Pickw., Ch. XIX, 170. 

no. He was a brown whiskered, whitc=h.itted, noaudi/ cabman 
Di. k., Sketches by Bo;, XVII. 

■■■eral. It is a severaUchorded lute on which they play. Symonds 
(Macm. Mag., XI.V, 325). ') 

c) different pronouns. Instances occur only occasionally. 

i she's got Ay coloured eyes. G. Eliot, Adam Bede, 1< 
ii. This shaped eye or that. Meredith, Ord. of Rich, lev, Z31. I 
iii. Roth are printed in the same sized paper. Collincwood, Lift 
John K us kin, 54S. *) 

V. When modified by such adverbs of degree as as. so, too, the com 
pound is sometimes split up into its component parts, the indefinite 
article being interposed. Such a wordsgroup as so honest a face 
appears then to be moulded into a compound adjective through 
taking the suffix ed. See Alex. Schmidt, Shak. Lex., I. For 
similar formations with, respectively, the present and the past parti= 
ciple see 26, c, Note /*; and 40, Obs. I. 

Let me live here ever; | So rare a wonder'd father and a wife | Makes 

this place Paradise. Siiak., Temp., IV, 123 (— so rarely wondered a 

father, i.e. a father endowed with such a rare power of working miracles. 

Al. Scm.midt.) 

In this the antique and well=noted face Of plain old form is much 

disfigured; ! . . It makes the course of thoughts to fetch about, | . Makes 

sound opinion sick and truth suspected, For putting on so new a fashion'd 

robe. Siiak., King John, IV, 2, 27. 

I have known as honest a faced fellow have art enough to do that Scott, 

Kenilworth, Ch. XII, 141. 

Similarly such a worcUgroup as such a colour may take the ad 
jectival suffix ed, resulting into the compound such a coloured. 

Her hair is auburn, mine is perfect yellow : If that be all the difference 
in his love. | I'll get me such a colour'd periwig Shak., Two Gent., 
IV, 4. 196. 

VI. The non=repetition oi the modifying element in the second 

succession oi such compounds as in the following quotation appears 
to be verv rare : 

What false Italian, ' As poisonous tongued as handed, h.ilh prevail'd | On 
thy too ready hearing? Sunk., Cymb., Ill, 2, 5. 

VII. The unaltered noun IS sometimes used where the meaning intended 
seems to require the adjective with the suffix ed. Thus edge-tool 
varies with edgecUtool (lor the different application see MuKKAY); 

') Ml'krw. 

: ) [espoozn, Mod. Eng. ( l!. 15.351. 


barefoot with barefooted. Scott (Old Mortality, Ch. II, 25) has 
a wheel carriage, instead of the ordinary wheeled carriage. 
Thus not unfrequently compounds whose Hrst element is a numeral, 
through contamination with similar compounds which denote a 
measure, such as fourfoot ruler, a jive-act comedy, a thirty=mile 
walk, a three-day visit, etc. discussed in Ch. XXV, 31 ft". 

The Elliot pride could not endure to make a third in a on&horse chaise. 
Jam: Austen, Pers., Ch. X, 92. 

His poor old mother had the happiness of seeing . . her beloved John 
step into a close carriage, a one-horse carriage, it is true, but [etc.]. Thack., 
Pend., I, Ch. II, 17. 

The fourthorse stage-coach by which I was a passenger. Dick., Great 

Expect., Ch. XX, 193. (Compare: They drove to the Town»Hall in a 

founhorsed carriage. Graph. No. 2276, 55.) 

A very nice four-wheel chaise. Dick., Pickw., Ch. V., 51. (Collins' 

Clear=Type Press; other editions have four-wheeled, and this seems to 

represent Dickens's ordinary practice.) 

A comfortable four-post bed. Jean Webster, Daddy*Long*Legs, 254, 

Here's a four-leaf clover, ib., 215. (Murray has only four-leaved.) 

Observe that seven=league boots varies with seven=leagued boots. 
With the above compare 

i. Tom's two-word reply. G. r. Bradby, For this I have borne him., 

Ch. VII, 83. 
ii. An old eight-day clock . . ticked gravely in the corner. Dick., Pickw. 

Ch. V., 44. 

The eight-hour day. Rev. of Rev., No. 214, 352a. 
iii. His ten-mile walk. Hardy, Return III, Ch. VI, 260. 
iv. A three-years' child. Coleridge, A n c. Mar., IV. 
v. The race has been a two-days event. II. bond. News, No. 385b, 360a. 

44. Shakespeare has also forms in ed derived from adjectives, 
mostly in the sense of made whatever is expressed by the 
adjective. Such forms differ, as to their grammatical function, 
in no way from ordinary past participles. 

The painful warrior famoused for fight, | . . Is from the book of honour razed 

quite. Son., XXV. 

Shall that victorious hand be feebled here? King John, V, 2, 14b. 

book here, what tributes wounded fancies sent me, | Of paled pearls and rubies red 

as blood, i. overs Compl., 198. 

Lo, all these trophies of affections hot, ■ Of pensived and subdued desires the 

lender, ib., 2/9. 

The R. W.B.Jack! 


Addenda and Corrigenda. 

An incorrect numbering oi the sections in the treatise oil the Infinitive m 
the manuscript stage has, unfortunately, led to an incorrect numbering in the 
'Order of Discussion" prefixed to this treatise l"o set the matter right, the 
reader is recommended to alter 6—33 into 6- 34; 34 fl into 3s 43; and to 
increase each following number by two. 

Further Comment on 

The Infinitive. 

^ 21, ^: The quotations given seem to show that the use of to before the 
infinitive after dare as a present indicative is especially frequent in 
emotional utterances. Thus also in: 
You dare to tell me that 1 have no imagination! Galsw., Silv. Box, II, I 

$ 40, c: According to MuSRAY (s. v. make, 53) the use of an infinitive with 
to after to make is now archaic. 

^ 34: In the following quotation the non=repetition of to seems to be due 
to the negative: 

How can you expect four women to dine every day and not quarrel? 
Wiik ( ot., The Woman in White, I, 36. (A change of not quarrel into, for 

example, live in perfect harmony would, apparently, entail the repetition ol 

a: In the following quotation the retention of the active voice seems 
to be due to the requirements of the metre. 
Who has not seen it will he much to pity. BYKON, Don Juan. I, VIII 

The alternative practice would seem to be impossible in: 
i. There was also plenty to eat. Lyt., Paul Clif., Ch. XXI, 24^' 
There is not any plot to speak of in Lesage's "Gil Bias". Mau 
Life of Ch. Dick , Ch. VII. 87. 

There was much to /tarn. Wins, Kipps, III, Ch. 1, § 5, 135. |ali 
There was much (left) that had (yet) to be learned, Dutch Er moest 
nogveel geleerd worden. There was much to he learned would 
Suggest There was much that could (or might) be learned, Dutch I t 
k o n nog v e e 1 geleerd worden.] 
ii. There was no sound to be heard. Dli K., Nick., Ch, V, 27h. 

There is no more to be said about it. id., Hard limes, ( h. XIV, 42a. 

. 7 . f: Also in the following quotations substitution of the passive for the 
active infinitive would be impossible: 

Needn't keep this shop, if I didn't like But it's something 
K.pps. in. c h n: 

I thought - Id hkc to keep a bookshop any'ow : jest foi somethm. 
lb. Ill, Ch. II! 

What it must - to budd' ib., II. Ch. IX 


81, Obs. Ill: It should have been observed that in such sentences as The 
horse is quiet to ride the adjective does not express a quality 
of the action denoted by the infinitive, but of the thing in? 
dicated by the subject. This accounts for the fact that expansion 
is impossible. 

The Gerund. 

§ 13, b Note a: The use of the definite article before the gerund after 
worth appears, after all, to be common enough. Here is another 

Such a risk was certainly not worth the running. Marzials, Life of Ch. 
Dick., Ch. II, 37. 

|3: It is not only adverbs in ly which may be found before gerunds, 
also certain adverbs of indefinite time are sometimes met with in 
this position. 

It was impossible, even before dinner, to avoid often walking about in the 

pattern of the carpet. Dick., Hard Times, III, Ch. II, 102b. 

He could do nothing but tenderly express his regret at parting and speak 

vaguely and almost mysteriously of their soon meeting. Disr., Syb., Ill, 

Ch. X, 207. 

His long wooing her. Ten., En. Ard., 705. 

It should, however, be borne in mind that not a few adverbs are 
not unfrequently used adnominally. On the strength of gerunds 
being partly substantival in character the adverbs in the above quo* 
tations may, therefore, in a manner be apprehended as adnominal 
modifiers. We quote a few curious examples of adnominal adverbs. 

The amount and regularity of the cheques from Messrs. Bradbury and Evans, 
the then and still owners of that happy periodical, made him aware that he 
found for himself a satisfactory career. Trol., Thack., Ch. I, 22. 
Raleigh's half^scientific declamation, and his often quotations of Doctor Dee, 
the conjuror, have less effect on Osborne than on Cumberland. Kingsley, 
Westw. Ho„ Ch. XVI, 126b. 

At nearly Christmas the foliage was as brilliant as when the outrage was 
committed. Miss Mitford, Our Village, Ch. I, 15. 

19, b: The alternative construction with the preposition of is impossible 
when the object is a reflexive pronoun, and also when it otherwise 
forms a kind of unit with the verb. 

It is the thinking ourselves vicious then that principally contributes to make 

us vicious. Godwin-, Cal. Wil., II, Ch. VI, 188. 

This made the taking ojfence impossible, ib., I, Ch. IV, 31. 

26, b: To the verbs requiring, or at least preferring the active voice of the 
gerund, notwithstanding its passive meaning, may be added to repay. 

(This) book published twenty years ago . . . will repay studying in these 
times. Westm. Gaz., 21/10, 1922, 8a. 


d: Also past, which is closely synonymous with beyond, distinctly prefers 
the active voice. 

i. H« was past rousing. W'uk. Col, The Woman in White I, 152 

lie would have been saving, ib., Ill, Ch. XI, 448. 

That we can come out of it with credit or dignity is past hoping. 

Westm. Gaz., 7 10, 1922, 7a. 
ii. I tried vainly to soothe her and reason with her. she past '■ 

soothed. W'uk. Col., The Woman in White, I, I > 2. 

37, b: The desire of giving particular prominence to the originator of the 
action may even give rise to the nominative of a personal pronoun 
being used instead of the objective. Thus JESPERSEN (De to hovedarter 
av grammatiske forbindelser, 53) mentions the following curious, as 
vet exceedingly rare, construction: 
Instead of he converting the Zulus, the Zulu chief converted him 

With this sentence compare the following, in which it, on account 
of its particularly strong stress, could hardly be changed into its: 

She sat with her own back and the back of the large chair toward it 
the window), screening the fire, as if she were sedulously keeping it warm. 
instead of it keeping her warm. Dick., Cop., Ch. V, 38a. 

f: The word=group in construction B may even contain an entire clause: 

All peoples are not equally prepared. It is not a question of ascendency 
it is a question of those who are able doing the task they alone are prepared 
to perform. Manch. Guard, V, 25, ^ 1 5 c. 

46, a, 1 : Robbery and assassination are, respectively, equivalent to being robbed 
and being assassinated in: 

lhs accidental presence . . . assisted Sir Percival's escape from robbery and 
assassination. W'uk. Cot., The Woman in White, I, 167. 

64: For the infinitive having been, in part, the source of the gerund see 
also Murray, s. v. ing, 3; and to, B, 22. 

The Participles. 

3, c, Note a: Instances of a present participle implying a time=sphere 
posterior to that of the predication with which it is connected are 
occasionally met with. 

Mins Tvrell regarded her for a moment in silence, and then quirted the room, 
coming back again from halfway up the stairs to answer a knock at the 
door. Jacobs, A Master of Craft, Ch. XVII, N7a. 

Belinda rose noisily and gathering up her untidy books, thrust them back 
in a heap on the shelf, and putting on her hat stood at the door commenting 
undutifully upon her parents and shrilly demanding of the small Wheelers 
whether they were coming or whether she was to stay there all night, ib., 
Ch. XVII, S5b. (The context imparts a momentaneous, or rather i 
character to srood, so that it is equivalent to went and stood. Dutch 
ging staan.) 


Of a different nature are the following examples, in which, however, 
there is the same posteriority of time=sphere: 

The King (sc. Leodogran) | Sent to him (sc. Arthur), saying, 'Arise, and help 
us thou! i For here between the man and beast we die'. Ten., Com. of 
Arth., 45. 

Then quickly from the foughten field he sent | Ulfius, and Brastias, and 
Bedivere, | His new=made knights, to King Leodogran, i Saying, Tf I in 
aught have served thee well, | Give me thy daughter Guinevere to wife', 
ib., 137. 

It is of some interest to compare the above examples with analogous 
constructions in other languages. 

In German the practice seems to be as unusual as in English. The 
following instances have come to hand: 

Von alien Inseln kamen sie, | Und horchen von dem Schaugeriiste | Des 
Chores grauser Melodie, 

Der streng und ernst, nach alter Sitte, | Mit langsam abgemessnem Schritte, j 
Hervortritt aus dem Hintergrund, | Umwandelnd des Theaters Rund. 
Schiller, Die Kraniche des Ibykus, XIII. 

Die (i.e. die Jagdgesellen) kamen hin, befanden die Sache als wahr und 
richtig, und ritten heim mit groBer Verwunderung dem Konige Bericht 
erstattend. L. Bechstein's Marchenbuch u. s. w." 3 , pag. 8 ima sq. 

Curme (A Gram, of the Germ.*Lang.' 2 , § 182, 3), without, however, 
referring to its relative infrequency, mentions the following example: 

Ada war in die Gesellschaft zuriickgetreten, den Dank derselben entgegen= 
nehmend. Spielhagen. 

In Latin the use of the participium pr^esentis instead of the participium 
futuri seems to be common enough. Speyer (Lat. Spraakk. 3 , § 719, 
Aanm. 2) quotes: 

Legati a Saguntinis Romam missi auxiliam orantes. Liv., XXI, 6, 2 (= qui 
orarent, not qui orabant.) 

Another instance is found in: 

Suspensi Eurypylum scitantem oracula | Phoebi mittimus. Verg., A en., II, 114. 

Thus also in Greek, e.g.: 

is n'ji' ikktjr Sixtkiav ntuntauiv ngtofifig br\Kov\'xeg <<>? y.otvog 6 xiptfvvog. 
Thucydides, VI, 34, 1. (Let us send ambassadors to the rest of Sicily, 
representing that the danger is common.) 

There is a similar difference as to timessphere in the actions expressed 
by the verbs in such constructions as to go out hunting, in which, 
however, the present participle goes back to an earlier gerund 
(6, Obs.VIII). 

Likewise in the curious construction employed in: 

Her morning dress was dimity, | Her evening silk, or, in the summer, muslin, | 
And other stuffs, with which I won't stay puzzling. Byron, Don Juan, I, XIL 


17: In sentences like The Boer is .1 born conservative, the participle is 
practically divested or .ill verbal characteristics, as appears From its 
being placed in the same position or the adjective high in: 

1 his good lady is .1 bom lady, a high lady, Dick., Hard Times, I. 

-. h. XI 31 b. 

Thus also born and bred in: 

There are apartments at the Bank where a born and bred lady, .is keepei 

01 the place, would he rather a catch than otherwise, ih., I, ( h XVI, 47 b 

Placing bom after the noun hardly affects its grammatical charactei 

In She's .? natural born nurse postposition is, of course, impossible 

27, b, 4: A solitary instance of a word'group consisting of on clef. art. 
stem of transitive verb has come to hand. 

My lady, there are tew more impressive sights in the world than a Scotsman 
on the make. |. M. Bnkkif. What every woman knows, II, ( S 5 ) 

Further Illustration of 

The Infinitive. 

§ 11, a: It was hinted that perhaps they need not always make so much smoke. Dick., 
Hard Times, II, Ch. I, ^ I . 

Apparently he (so Mr Lloyd George) assured Dr. Wirth in quite general terms 
that he need not be anxious for the future. Manch. Guard, VI, 22, 4s 1 .i 

5; 12, a, 2: We need express little surprise. Westm. Gaz., 14 10, 1^22, 1 a. 

^ 65, C: The countess of Marney held a great assembly at the familv mansion in 
St. James' Square, which Lord Marney Inn! intended to have let to a new club. 
Disr., Syb., IV, Ch. XI, 264, 

Obs. I. a: "I'm glad to see- you so well, Miss Cardinal," he said, "I had been 
afraid that it might have exhausted you. Hugh Walpole, The 
( apti\ es, I, Ch. Ill, 46. 

s; , 1 , Obs. Ill ' 7 V s fo be done again at three (sc. the dressing of the wounds) and then 
she mav lie left till morning. Dm., Hard Times, Ch. XIII, 

. a, S.V. to do: "I have come here to learn something of their condition,' 
remont, "That is not to be done in a great city like London.' Disk., S 
III. Ch. VI, 184. 

The wretched ignorance with which Jupe clung to this consolation . . . filled 
.Mr. Gradgrind with pitv. Yet what ira.s to be done 1 Dick., Hard Tin 
I. Ch. IX, 24 a. 

s; 72, b: "Why pet, said Trotty, "what's to do? I didn't expect you : 
Dici < Ihimes*. I. IS. 

a, i.: He would stop to examine the nature of the soil, fill my pockets (not 
his own) with great lumps of clay, stones and rubbish, to analyse when 


he got home, by the help o f some chemical apparatus he had borrowed 
from Mr. Squills. Lyt., Caxt., II, Ch. II, 38. 

The clergyman exhorted him that whatever his hand found to do, he was 
to do. Wells, Kipps, I, Ch. II, § 4, 47. 

ii. : A neighbouring butcher presented me with a choice morsel of steak, not 
to eat, but to wear. Jer., Paul Kelver, I, Ch. Ill, 32 a. 

i. and ii.: It is she who wants somebody to protect, to help, to work for — 
somebody to give her children to protect, to help, to work for. Shaw, 
Cand., Ill, (178). 
b : The other things included books to read and books to give away. Wells, 

Kipps, I, § 1, 13. 

§ 76, Obs. I: All schemes of social progress . . . require money to be expended. Westm. 
Gaz., 28/20,- 22, 2 a. 

§ 83: We passed through glittering joyous streets, piled high each side with all 

the good things of the earth — toys and baubles, jewels and gold, things 

good to eat and good to drink, things good to wear and good to see. Jerome, 
Paul Kelv., I, Ch. I, 18 b. 

§ 85, Obs. Ill: I find myself looking over my sketches as I used to look over my 
lessons when I was a little girl, and when I was sadly afraid that 
I should turn out not fit to be heard. Wilk. Col., The Worn, in 
White, I, Ch. VIII, 5 1. 

§ 88: It would appear from this unexpected circumstance of tosday ... as if some* 
thing had crept into Thomas's and Louisa's minds . . ., which had never been 
intended to be developed. Dick., Hard Times, I, Ch. IV, 9 a. 
The marriage was appointed to be solemnized in eight weeks' time, ib., I, 
Ch. XVI, 48 a. 

The Gerund. 

19, b: I protest you have made my blood run cold with the very mentioning the top 
of that mountain. Field., Tom Jones, VIII, Ch. X, 148 b. 
It was necessary to the realizing his project that he should pass for a god. 
Godwin, Cal. Wil., II, Ch. I, 153. 

The civilities that had once or twice occurred in the bustle of a public circle, 
the restoring her fan, which she had dropped, or the disembarrassing her of 
an empty tea-cup, made her heart palpitate, ib., I, Ch. VI, 55. 
In those parts they call it Lonesome Ford. That is better than just the giving it 
of a good name Temple Thurst., The Flower of Gloster, Ch. XXVII, 157. 
(The alternative construction would be the giving to it.) 

20: This crossing the Alps is a trial. Disr., Lothair, I, Ch. VI, 31. 

It is a bad thing — this beatinu, the police, id., Syb., V, Ch. I, 292. (The 
alternative q/;construction would give rise to ambiguity.) 

The not being troubled with earnestness was a great point. Dick., Hard 
Times, II, Ch. VII, 74 a. 

25: My wounds will not bear this perpetual tampering. Godwin, Cal. Wil., II, 
Ch. III. 163. 


^2, b, 1: Waste not .i sigh on fortune changed, \ On thanklt courts or friends 

i. Lady, II, in. 15— lb. 

2: Such a prince as our Henry the Fifth would have been the idol of the 
North. 1 lie follies of bis youth, the seltish ambition of his manhood, 
the Lollards roasted .ir slow fires, the prisoners massacred on the field •■/ 
battle, the expiring lease oj priestcraft renewed for .mother century . . . 
everything is forgotten but the victory o I Agincourl Mat , Macch., (36b). 

The Participles. 

5, b : By this time .1 whole village was up and windlasses, ropes, poles, candles, 
lanterns, all things necessary, were collecting and being brought into one place. 
to be carried to the Old Hell Shaft. Dick., Hard Times, 111, Ch. VI, 119a. 
(The quotation shows that some verbs are more adaptable to the old practice 
than others.) 

The clergyman's Wednesday Evening Lectures are publishing there by sub; 
scription. Wiik. Coi... The Woman in White, III, Ch. IX, 417. 
Staying only long enough to drink the watchman's coffee, which was heating 
on a gas=jet, they left it (sc. the office) and began to search the wharf 
[acobs, A Master of Craft, Ch. II, II b. 

6 Obs. VII: The Ilolborn Viaduct was then in building. Jerome, Paul Kelv., I, 
Ch. VIII, 67 a. 

26, a, 2: You've been on Jbreign*going ships, then. Jacobs, A Master of Craft, 
Ch. I, 8 b. (Foreign=going = going to foreign parts.) 
A hundred and thirty political offenders have been hunger-striking for 
one week in the prison at Lichteburg. Mnnch. Guard., V, 21, 406c. 

Errors of the Press. 

Page 3, line 20 from top: change area into areas. 

3, ,, 24 „ „ ,, he „ be. 

13, ,, 12 ,, bottom: ,, scareely ,, scarcely 

,, 20, ,, 20 ,, ,, ,, Bkonte ,, BkontI. 

92, ,, 5 ,, ,, place a full stop after 'adverbially'. 

An Apology. 

in conclusion I have to say a few words about my references to the Oxford 
lish Dictionary. Throughout my grammatical work I have consistently 
indicated my obligations to this famous monument of English scholarship 
bv "Murray". This was unexceptionable in the initial stages of my work, 
when the deeply lamented lexicographer bore the undivided responsibility 
of his grand undertaking. Hut as time went on and other scholars joined 
the staff as responsible coscditors, the term became less appropriate and a 
more comprehensive name was needed. Some writers began to quote the 
Dictionary under the abbreviation H. E. D. (Historical English Dictionary), 


many preferred the somewhat jovial N. E. D. (New English Dictionary), and 
this appears to be the most widely favoured designation to this day. More 
recently the more accurate O. E. D. (Oxford English Dictionary) has come 
into vogue. As for me I have not, hitherto, seen my way to change the 
indication of my references to the Dictionary, because I thought it undesirable, 
if not misleading, to do so while I was engaged on one and the same work. 
However, since it has come to my knowledge that it is the desire of the 
present editors to have the work entrusted to their care referred to by the 
iast=mentioned initials or the fuller description, Oxford English Dictionary, 
I have, in deference to their wishes, made up my mind to use the same 
indications in any grammatical work which, after this, I may commit to the 
press. I sincerely hope that they will accept my apology for not having done 
so at an earlier stage of my grammar in the same friendly spirit in which 
I offer it. 

« u JSSfJ~>«B 

■;•«":' iiiiiTTii 

3 0005 02015425 1 




The in 

f initive , 





the pa 








The infinitive 

the gerund and the 

participles o 

f the English verb